Has Jordan Spieth truly announced himself on golf’s main stage?
Jordan Spieth made it official on Sunday. After much huffing and puffing the 21-year-old Texan has delivered. He demonstrated after some early indication of form and missing out a couple of times, that he has all of the ingredients for success and is no flash in the pan but ready for to contend at the highest level.
Jordan Spieth is golf’s new big deal and winning Sunday’s Valspar Championship, while in the process, birdie-ing the third play off hole on his way to defeating Sean O’Hair and Patrick Reed, proves this.
Shooting a final-round 69 and a 10-under performance on the difficult Innisbrook Resort Copperhead Course, Spieth not only won the tournament, he became just the fourth player since 1940 to win twice on the PGA TOUR prior to his 22nd birthday. He joined Tiger Woods, Sergio Garcia and Robert Gamez. Impressive company indeed.
Making his first appearance at Augusta National last year at age 20, he went into the Sunday afternoon leading the Masters before finally finishing second to Bubba Watson. Golf is a unique as a sport, as it is entirely down to the individual. Two weeks ago we were all singing the “return” of Padraig Harrington and in the same event this weekend Harrington missed the cut.
For someone so young as Spieth and playing such a singular sport with the ultimate consequence for each and every shot, to show such ability with a golf swing is impressive. But to have the mental strength to see it home speaks volumes for him and indeed all the 20-somethings on the tour.
After Rory did something similar in the Masters of 2011, all associated with him would have been concerned that he might not mentally recover from such a dramatic collapse. Yet in the middle of that same year he strolled home to his first major win – The US Open. Like Rory, questions were asked about Spieth and his ability to close a tournament out.
Was he just good for the first three days? However as a junior, this guy has won two U.S. Juniors, joining Woods as the event’s only multiple champion. He finished tied to his age, 16th at the AT&T Byron Nelson Championship, a higher finish than Woods ever recorded as an amateur playing a PGA TOUR event.
We all know what Tiger has done but it is fascinating to watch the younger guns now taking centre stage. While many of them have technically correct swings, a dedicated few have the mental game to enjoy many more tournament victories. Spieth now falls into that category. Moreover, fear or indeed preceding reputations are not a factor for this new young batch of golfers.
So things are warming nicely for the upcoming first Major – The Masters. The young guns are here to stay and Spieth along with Reid, Fowler and the World Number One Rory and all now serious contenders for the first major of the year.