Spieth Is No. 1

Former Longhorn Golfer Jordan Spieth Makes the Presidents Cup

When Jordan Spieth joined the University of Texas men’s golf team in 2011, he told coach John Fields he had two goals in mind: winning a national championship and ascending to the No. 1 ranking in the world. Spieth achieved the former just months after arriving on the Forty Acres, as the budding freshman star was a key component to Texas’ victory over Alabama to win the 2012 title. The latter, an even loftier goal, and one rooted completely in the individual aspect of the game, came yesterday when Spieth finished second in the PGA Championship.

After the tournament, Spieth became the No. 1 ranked golfer in the world, the second-youngest ever after Tiger Woods claimed the top spot in 1997 at age 21. Spieth is also the first-ever Longhorn to reach No. 1.

Spieth’s climb to the top has been sharp and steep. Last year, as a 20-year-old second-year pro, he announced his arrival with a tied-for-second finish at the Masters. After some respectable showings at the year’s remaining tournaments, including a win at the Australian Open, Spieth returned to Augusta in April of this year and proved to the world that 2014 wasn’t a fluke. He won consecutive majors, the Masters and the U.S. Open, and came in fourth at The Open in Scotland before Sunday’s second-place finish. His cumulative 54-under par between those four major tournaments is a new world record.

Spieth just turned 22 in July. He’s a college national champion, the winner of two major professional championships, and he’s ranked as the world’s best golfer. He’s on top of the mountain looking down at the rest of the field. Once upon a time, Tiger Woods—the once-prodigy to whom Spieth is often compared—was on track to become the greatest golfer of all time, set to break Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 major tournament wins. Woods, following a major scandal and numerous injuries, has been stuck on 14 majors since 2008, and it doesn’t appear that he’ll regain his virtuosic form soon, if ever. That torch is firmly in Spieth’s hands now.

Photo courtesy UT Athletics.

 

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