Today’s Monday Post will be a short one:
Don’t bang on Jordan Spieth.
At the tender age of 20, he has played his way into the final group on the last day of this year’s Masters and this year’s Players, two events where experience is at a premium and two events at which he was a rookie.
Nevertheless, already the knives are out in certain uninformed quarters saying he can’t close the deal.
Strictly speaking, he didn’t win either time.
But zeroing in on Spieth in this context is not only unfair but it gives a free pass to so many other players who have underperformed this year and yet still remain celebrated.
I’m talking about you Rory McIlroy. And you Patrick Reed. And you Lee Westwood. And you Phil Mickelson. And you Adam Scott. The list goes on and on.
Spieth will not be the next Tiger Woods. Which, by the way, isn’t all bad. The young Texan already has shown more grace, humility, honesty, likability and maturity in defeat than Woods ever displayed.
Woods’ career arc has reached its apogee. And while I think he will win at least one more major and maybe break Jack Nicklaus’ career major record, I don’t think watching Woods downward spiral is going to be pretty.
Watching Spieth, on the other hand, is going to be a treat. Both in victory and defeat.
As for Players champion Martin Kaymer just this: Only four players have ever won a major, a WGC event and a Players.
They are: Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Adam Scott and Martin Kaymer.
Think that’s a pretty select group?
Try this: Add to those qualifications how many players also have risen to No. 1 in the world rankings.
Now you have to subtract Scott and Mickelson.
Now that group is Woods and Kaymer.
Pretty fast company for a 29-year-old from a country, Germany, that isn’t known for its golf.