As the last major golf championship of the year came to an end, a familiar face sat near the top of the leaderboard.
That man is the 22-year old Texas native, Jordan Spieth.
Jordan has become the next superstar for the game of golf and already has achieved more than some players do in their whole career.
Before playing on tour, Spieth started as an amateur where he won the U.S Junior Amateur in 2009 and 2011. The only other player to do so? Tiger Woods.
(Spieth, has surged to the top rapidly, something not matched by anyone except Tiger, Courtesy USA Today)
Ever since, it has been only up from there. Spieth is one of six players in the history of the sport to win the U.S Open and Masters in the same calendar year. He is also the youngest player since Bobby Jones in 1923 to win the U.S Open.
Despite the accolades, it is the maturity of the young player that has fans turning their heads.
In postmatch interviews and press conferences, his demeanor and character on full display, and it is something special. On the 17th hole in Sunday’s PGA Championship, he gave his opposing competitor Jason Day a thumbs up after a great putt. Then, the announcer went on to say what a “class act” Spieth was and how much he has grown since turning pro.
With his rise to greatness, Spieth had the opportunity to become the number one player in the world rankings with a top two finish and Rory McIlroy finishing outside the top 13.
He did that on Sunday when he finished in sole possession of second place, and McIlroy finished in 17th.
Spieth had a chance to be the youngest player ever to win three major championships, but his luck ran out when Jason Day ran away with the lead, shooting a final round of 67. Day became the first golfer in the modern era to finish 20 under par in a major championship.
Although it was a disappointing loss for Spieth, he is now one of four players ever to finish top five in all four majors in the same calendar year. The other three names are Jack Nicklaus, Rickie Fowler, and Tiger Woods.
Spieth can now focus his attention on winning the FedEx Championship, where he holds the lead by a large margin.
The second place player is 1,481 points behind Spieth, which will be very difficult to make up especially with the way Spieth has been playing.
What separates Spieth from the rest of the field is his ability to putt.
For the 2015 season, Spieth is number one in overall putting average (1.51), one putt percentage (44.29%), and birdie average (4.58). This kid (at only 22) is filthy on the greens, and when he is locked in, no one stands a chance.
What Jordan has done for the game of golf and the fans is absolutely amazing and is something the game hasn’t seen since Tiger Woods.
Every time I would watch golf, I’ve found myself only following Tiger, and if he weren’t in the tournament, I would either shut off the TV or change the channel.
Since Spieth has come on to the scene, I am watching all four rounds of golf and always looking where he is at, whether it is in a major or just a regular tournament. Watching four rounds of golf on TV was a foreign idea to me, and now I can’t stop watching.
On Sunday, I found myself yelling and cursing at the television and even rooting for players to hit a bad shot.
Yelling at the television in golf?
I thought yelling at the TV on Sunday was only for football.
Even Bill Simmons tweeted, “1st golfer I’ve really rooted for before Tiger”.
You can call this the Jordan Spieth effect or whatever you want, but this kid has had a huge impact on the game and the craziest part, he is only 22.
So what to expect from Spieth next?
I’m not quite sure because anything is possible for this guy.
He finished 54-under par all together in the four majors, which is a single-season record.
I have no idea how he can do any better than that, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he broke that record next year.
So thank you, Jordan Spieth, for giving me another sport to eagerly watch and sit on the edge of my couch. Thank you for lowering my self-esteem because winning two major championships at the age of 22 just seems like a normal thing to do for you.