Is Jordan Spieth the Next Tiger Woods?
It seems like we always make our way to this kind of inquiry when a current player becomes instantly great, but could 21-year-old Jordan Spieth really be this generation's legendary golfer?
Spieth's U.S. Open performance this past weekend wasn't absolutely dominant, but impressive nonetheless. His five-under 275 was just enough to take the trophy this weekend, but needed a rare 12-foot three-putt from Dustin Johnson on #18 to seal his second major victory.
However, don't simply scoff at this accomplishment. Spieth is only the sixth player ever to win both the U.S. Open and The Masters in the same calendar year, joining Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Craig Wood and Ben Hogan, one of the most impressive lists in the sport.
Along with winning two majors in 2015, Spieth also has 10 top-10 finishes in the calendar year, and has made $6.2 million since February 1. Is this a flash in the pan, or is Spieth the next Tiger Woods? Can he be the next dominant golfer?
His talent is second to none. He has a silky smooth swing, plus he's one of the best putters on tour. Combine that with his uncanny mental strength (remember, he's just 21 years old), Spieth is the textbook definition of an anomaly.
Alabama fans remember him as the one who dominated Justin Thomas, one of the best Alabama golfers of all-time, in match play of the 2012 National Championship. We all knew he was really good then, but nobody thought that within three years, Spieth would be at the top of the FedEx Cup points list and ranked #2 in the world.
In 16 events since February, Spieth is a ridiculous 122-under par. He has led the FedEx Cup since winning the Masters during the second week in April. We can consider that Tiger-esque, right?
If that doesn't cut it for you, then here's something that will.
Tiger was known in his prime as one of the best par 5 players in the world. It almost seemed like there wasn't a par 5 that he couldn't eagle.
So what does this have to do with Spieth?
In the 16 tournaments of 2015 that Spieth has played in, he has shot 80 under on all the par 5's.
Let me repeat that: he has shot 80 under on all the par 5's, including scoring 12 under on the par 5's at The Masters in mid-April.
These are silly numbers, folks. Absolutely silly.
In short, Spieth winning the U.S. Open and The Masters in the same year is something that hasn't been done since Tiger did it in 2002. Oh, and Spieth did it at 21 years old, five years younger than when Tiger accomplished this feat.
Spieth is at 30-1 odds to win both the British Open and the PGA Championship. Should he win the next two majors, he'll be only the second player ever to win the Grand Slam, something Tiger could never do (Bobby Jones won the Grand Slam in 1930). It should be noted, however, that Tiger, from 2000-2001, did win all four majors consecutively, but not in the same calendar year.
In short, Spieth has a long way to go in defining his career. But if he keeps talking to his golf ball mid-flight, I highly suspect we're going to see him take over the world of golf.
Well, if he hasn't already.