SPIETH – THE BEST OF A GENERATION
IF Jordan Spieth’s performance in the final round of the Masters proved anything, it was his ability to conjure up the most incredible of shots under intense pressure.
At the height of his powers, Tiger Woods would do the same. Those that played alongside him said the 14-time major champion seemed to have the uncanny ability of being able to will the ball into the hole.
Young Spieth has strikingly similar abilities on the biggest stages. His 30-foot birdie putt on the 16th hole on Sunday afternoon was a putt at least half a dozen players had missed in the hour before. He rolled it straight in to momentarily grab a share of the lead with Patrick Reed. Go back to The Open Championship last year … 15th hole final round, he sinks a 50- foot putt for eagle to snatch the lead away from Matt Kuchar and the Claret Jug is his.
No player since Woods, in his prime, is as mentally strong as Spieth. He doesn’t have the prettiest looking swing. He can hit the occasional squirrelly shot (his drive on the 18th hole on Sunday at the Masters is a good example) and some will say his swing is technically flawed.
All this might be true. But he knows how to get his ball around a golf course in the least number of shots possible, which is, after all, the aim of the game. Jordan Spieth golfs his ball better than anyone of his generation.
The 24-year-old Texan already has three major titles to his name and there are plenty more to come. His performances at Augusta (one win, two seconds and a third in just five starts) suggest he’s going to have a wardrobe full of green jackets by the time he’s done. Given his creative play, there will probably be more Claret Jugs adorning the Spieth mantel. There was plenty of hype around Rory McIlroy winning the career Grand Slam at Augusta and he gave it his best shot – but ultimately the pressure of becoming the sixth player to achieve the feat became too much.
There is every likelihood now that Spieth will beat him into the Grand Slam club. He will get his chance in August at the PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club in Missouri. Eleven of the past 16 major champions have been aged in their 20s. That trend will definitely continue and Spieth is likely to be the chief benefactor.