Translate

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Jordan Spieth: Desire and Determination Personified

Once again, Jordan Spieth helped remove any doubt, if in fact there were still any doubters, that he is a very special player, the likes of which we have rarely seen. I could brag that I picked him to win this week at Royal Birkdale, but it's really nothing to brag about. This young man is going to be a favourite to win at every Major he enters for years to come.

The inevitable comparisons will be made to Jack and Tiger. And the fact that we are legitimately comparing Spieth's record to date with those two giants of the game just tells you how special a player he is. He is rewriting the record books in an age where most of us probably thought we had seen the best players we were ever going to see. For me, it was Jack. For many others it was Tiger. But Spieth has accomplished things even they hadn't managed to accomplish at the same age. That's just how good Spieth is.

To think, especially after last year's phenomenal Open championship, that Johnny Miller, a guy who knows a little something about historic final rounds in Majors, would state that this was the greatest finish to a Major championship he's ever seen. Some may not necessarily agree with Johnny. He does have his detractors. But you have to admit that we have probably never been taken on the quite the ride we were taken on today by Spieth. After losing his lead, and looking like anything but a champion, Spieth stood up on the next tee and almost holed a six iron from 201 yards. 

I won't bother recounting his incredible finish. Others will do that. All I think you need to try to imagine is how it must have felt to relinquish the lead at that stage in the championship; how psychologically deflating that would have been for any normal person. Few final round leaders in Majors are able to lose their lead and then come charging back to reclaim it. I'm not a good enough historian to tell you when, or how often, it has happened before. But I am certain it is a rare achievement.

I am constantly reminded of Bobby Jones and his assessment of how he was able to win the Grand Slam. He didn't have his best stuff in any if those four victories, but he said that he was able to win because he was willing to take more punishment and tried harder than everyone else. Royal Birkdale was not there for the taking, and she administered some severe punishment to Spieth in the early going. But Spieth simply refused to give up. It was his determination to just keep on hitting it when just about anyone else would have given up that is the reason he is the champion golfer of the year, and why he is already headed for the Hall of Fame at 23 years of age.

We can now, as we always do, look forward to the PGA championship. And I certainly won't be betting against Jordan Spieth to win that one as well. The level of competition in professional golf has never been so high. But there just aren't very many players out there who have the desire and the determination of Jordan Spieth. In fact, I don't think there are any. And that desire and determination, as much as his skill, is what sets Jordan Spieth apart from the rest of the field.