Golf

The “Thing” About Jordan Spieth

Jordan Spieth  showed the world yet again why he is truly the best young golfer in the sport.  His consistency since turning pro is uncanny.   No, we are not talking about the next Tiger Woods and his Record setting play, but among what people refer to as the big 4 with Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, and Rory McIlroy he has shown why he is the best of that group.  Spieth’s consistency over his first 4 plus seasons is above and beyond what the others have been able to accomplish.

Jordan Spieth has been a Pro Since 2012 at the age of 19.  He will be turning 24 on the 27th of July and is the youngest player since Jack Nicklaus to win 3 majors before age 24.  Since winning the Masters and the US Open in 2015, we have seen Rory struggle, Dustin Johnson rise and fall and Jason Day do a little of the same.   Of those four though, Spieth’s consistency as a player allows him to stay at or near the top yearly.

His list of honors thus far is staggering when you consider he was awarded PGA Player of the year, PGA Tour player of the year, Vardon and Byron Nelson Trophy Winners, and Fed Ex Cup Champion in 2015.  In 2013 he was awarded with rookie of the year honors.  And this year, he has won a couple of times including becoming the youngest American to win a British Open when he prevailed at Royal Birkdale this past weekend.  His other victories included wins at the Travelers Championship and Pebble Beach.

What else makes Jordan Spieth so amazing is his overall demeanor and how he carries himself.   Every sport wants to have the face of it’s game be one of purity and without controversy.  While no one is perfect, he seems very close when you consider his thoughtful responses to not just the media but his interaction with the fans.  He has been a professional in every way during his interviews and one on one’s. I  Met him at Oakmont last year and although he was not a great fan of set up, he was very respectful and nice when we briefly spoke.

He is a tremendous ambassador for the sport and has helped usher in the idea that these players are not just individuals, They have become the front men to tremendous teams.   He works in concert with his caddy, coach, equipment sponsors, promoters and family.  Although Golfers have been doing this for years, when Jordan wins or competes, he refers to his game or his play as “We.”   They prepare, win, and or lose as a team.  I think this is something that makes him humble and even more likeable.

This team first mentality is more than just a trend though. Other front man led sports such as Nascar have embraced the team first mentality while working towards a win.

When looking at the PGA Tour stat sheet, Jordan is not the longest driver of the golf ball in the sport, nor is he the best iron player in the sport. Don’t get me wrong though, Jordan is really good off the tee and fairway but what he does better than anyone in the game is putt.  That was on display this past week at Royal Birkdale when you saw him roll in putt after putt that was later topped off with a 50 foot putt on the back nine that was center cut.   When he is right and competing at the highest level, he is unstoppable on the green. Jordan’s putter is better than 85% of the field every week before he even steps on the course and in my estimates is the most deadly putter inside of 20 feet that I have seen in years.  He just does not miss.

The PGA Tour is stacked with great young talent right now, probably more so than ever in its history.  Jordan’s 11 wins before the age of 24 puts him in rarified air in PGA Tour History.  And his 3 wins in Major Championships puts him on Jack’s track.  No one is predicting he will over take Nicklaus in Major wins in his career, but as Jack showed us in his career, consistency and greatness with the putter is what makes a golfer great.  And Jordan Spieth is showing those traits thus far in his young career.

 

 

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