It is both premature and unfair, to anoint Jordan Spieth as an all-time great player. His greatness will evolve over a period of time and is much more likely to happen if he doesn’t carry the excess baggage of unreal expectation.
What we can safely say is that Jordan Spieth has had a great beginning to his career. When he won the Masters last week, he became the second youngest winner of golf’s most revered Major and tied the 72-score scoring record with a mind blowing total of 18-under par.
The Masters was his second win in his last four events and the third of his career. Only two other players in the modern era have won three times before their 22nd birthday, Sergio Garcia and Tiger Woods.
Other players who have won a Major before turning 22 include Woods, Gene Sarazen, Walter Hagen and Bobby Jones.
Spieth’s victory at Augusta moved him up to #2 in the Rolex World Golf Rankings behind Rory McIlroy and in hot pursuit of the 25-year old Irishman. Spieth has been quoted, without being loud or obnoxious, saying that he not only wants to be the #1 player in the world, but that he wants to have a Hall of Fame career. It is difficult to openly admit to goals like that without coming off as brash, but Spieth manages to do so in his respectful, confident and graceful manner.
Spieth already displays so many characteristics which separate him from not only others his age, but from most people.
His hero is his 14-year old sister, Ellie, who has a neurological disorder that means she is on the autism spectrum. Spieth unabashedly adores Ellie, who he credits with being both his inspiration, and the funniest member of his family.
As Spieth told the Washington Post: “It’s humbling to see Ellie and her friends and the struggles they go through each day that we take for granted.’’ Grounded and completely with perspective.
Spieth is humble and genuinely so, as this quote attests: “I’m lucky to play on tour and to compete with these guys, it’s been a dream come true.” Spieth, has none of the braggadocio that seems to be the accompanying mantra of so many athletes today.
In 2014, Spieth created his own charity, the Jordan Spieth Charitable Trust, which raises awareness for and financial support to special needs youths, junior golf and military families. How many other 20-year olds do you know who started their own charity?
Typically, when a player wins The Masters and they are entered into the following week’s tournament, the RBC Heritage, they withdraw to bask in the accolades that come with winning at Augusta. Not Spieth. Having made a commitment to play at Harbor Town, Spieth said simply that he would be honoring that.
All these attributes in one so young, have given him the foundation for a greatness that could supersede all that he may accomplish as a professional golfer. They have given fans the hope for a real superstar, one who embraces the opportunity to be a role model, and in whom we can all believe.
Time will reveal how his story is told, but the first few chapters have been profoundly mesmerizing.