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Monday, 26 June 2017

Jordan Spieth Headed for Golfing Greatness

Jordan Spieth is back in the news after his dramatic win at the Travellers Championship. That holed bunker shot has surely been viewed, and viewed again, ad infinitum on the net; and he's once again golf's wunderkind. It's all good.

I have been really bullish on Spieth from day one, when I first saw him play on the tour in Texas as a sixteen year old. I have touted him as the best player in the game, and essentially the "can't miss kid," for years now. I must admit that I soured on him a bit after he backed out of the Rio games. But I suppose it was more his loss than mine. Let's face it, the kid's seemingly destined to be one of golf's all-time greats. And, if an Olympic gold isn't that important to him, I guess that's his business not mine.

He's the total package. With ten wins now by the age of 23, including two Majors, he is comparable only to Tiger. No one else has managed it, including even the Golden Bear and my golfing hero, Bobby Jones. So, I guess there's not much more to be said. If he remains healthy, keeps the fire in his belly, and doesn't fiddle too much with his swing, Jordan Spieth will surely not only be in the Hall of Fame,  he'll be mentioned in the same breath as the greatest of the great ones. It's pretty much a given.

The obvious next step for Jordan is an Open championship and a PGA championship to complete the career Slam. He's obviously capable of doing it. And, if he can, he joins a very short list of golfing greats. You can bet he's now all-systems-go for the Open at Royal Birkdale next month. And I suppose I wouldn't bet against him. 

One of the things I really like about Spieth--and, of course, there is much to like--is his swing. He has a natural swing. It's not a swing made in the image of anyone else. And it's not a violent swing that relies on too much torque. It's a swing that should keep him from experiencing the back problems and other injuries that have plagued guys like Tiger, Rory, Jason Day, and even DJ--though DJ seems to get injured off the course more than on it. Spieth's swing seems, to me at least, to be built to last.

I think Jordan will be able to achieve longevity in the game that I don't see happening for Day and McIlroy. In fact, I don't think Day or McIlroy really have the desire to spend thirty years or more between the ropes. And ultimately, according to Jack Nicklaus, desire is probably the biggest factor there is in achieving greatness in this game. The real key in the future will be how much Spieth continues to want it.

There are lots of terrific players out there; and there are more coming along every day. To achieve greatness in the game, especially now adays with the ever-increasing number of talented players, desire will be key. It's painfully obvious that Spieth has it in spades. His performance this week serves only to remind us of that. Let's hope he keeps it.