Monthly Archives: July 2015

Jordan Spieth Didn’t Win the Open, But So What? Spiethmania Is On!

Spiethmania Is a great name for the response to this golf phenom. All tempered by the knowlege that we are all going to make errors, ever Jordan. But with great supporting cast that jordan surrounds himself with chances are they will be rapidly corrected if and when they occure. enjoy the Spiethmania….Read more below.

Late on a Saturday night, in St. Andrews’ best upstairs Chinese eatery, four sportswriters tore into their crispy aromatic duck. “What happens if Jordan wins the third leg?” asked the writer known as Poz. “Do we all go crazy, like we did with Tiger? Are we looking at Spiethmania?”

The question seemed academic. Jordan Spieth, winner of the first two legs of golf’s Grand Slam and freshly minted champion of the John Deere Classic, had three-putted five times during a wind-addled second round of the Open Championship. He trailed leader Dustin Johnson by five strokes and was thought, by the scribes, to be insufficiently versed in the Old Course’s arcane defenses to stage a comeback.

It was a great question, nonetheless. The tall guy from Kansas City (beef oyster sauce) doubted that “mania” would ever be attached to Spieth’s name, no matter how many majors he eventually won. “Jordan’s not long enough to excite a mass audience. Golfers will appreciate him, but golf fans swoon for Tiger and Phil, Jack and Arnie, John Daly, Rory — guys who can really bomb it. Jordan is more of a refined ball-striker, like Ben Hogan, and Hogan was never as popular as Sam Snead.”

What?” The little guy from Philly (bang-bang Szechuan chicken) froze, his fork halfway to his mouth. “Hogan got a ticker tape parade!”

They went back and forth like that until the check came. Afterwards, on the back of the restaurant’s takeaway menu, the tall guy made a couple of lists. The first list was comprised of players who had achieved a certain iconic status in the broader culture: Bobby Jones, Walter Hagen, Snead, Hogan, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Seve Ballesteros, Greg Norman, John Daly, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy. The second list was comprised of players with comparable careers who had never quite achieved transcendent popularity: Gene Sarazen, Byron Nelson, Gary Player, Billy Casper, Tom Watson, Bernhard Langer, Nick Faldo. While acknowledging that personal charisma has a lot to do with superstardom, he detected a strong bias in favor of power players.

That was the position taken by the tall guy that night. He said, “Annika Sorenstam is a good example. I watched her dozens of times, and I never saw her hit a shot that was beyond the capabilities of your average LPGA pro. Annika simply played smart, mistake-free golf and maintained her playing focus better than her competition. And to me, that’s Spieth. He’s got all the shots and a great short game, but he’ll never make your jaw drop the way Tiger did when he pulled off some shot you didn’t think was possible.”

I agreed with the tall guy.

Okay, I was the tall guy. But two days later, after watching Spieth battle back to a T4 finish in the Open, I was prepared to eat bang-bang crow. What changed my mind was Spieth’s response to that gut-wrenching four-putt on the eighth hole, which included a first putt that went completely off the green. That disaster dropped him four strokes behind Zach Johnson and seemed to end his bid to become, at 21, the youngest Open winner since 1893.

But Spieth didn’t see it that way. He fought back with birdies on nine and 10, safely negotiated the transitional holes out by the estuary, and then thrilled the £10-paying customers by draining a 40-foot putt on No. 16. That birdie gave him a share of the lead at 15-under. And right there, he convinced me that absorbing a flurry of body blows can be as exciting as landing a haymaker punch.

Others seemed to be reaching the same conclusion. “There’s an uncertainty about Jordan that makes you watch, because you don’t quite know what he’s going to do,” said Golf Channel’s Frank Nobilo. The analyst’s words echoed the “What will Phil do next?” advertising campaign for Mickelson and reminded me that unpredictability, aligned with talent, can be more compelling than raw power.

Granted, Spieth didn’t win at St. Andrews; Zach Johnson did. But the kid finished a mere stroke out of the three-man playoff, and he established himself as a favorite to win his third major of the year at next month’s PGA Championship. “I don’t know how many guys have done three majors in a year,” he said at day’s end. “I know Tiger has done it, and I’m sure Jack has.” (Nicklaus, in fact, never won three majors in a year.) Spieth added, “I’m very pleased with the way we battled.”

The four sportswriters were also pleased. Especially the tall guy, who left St. Andrews with hoisin sauce on his chin and a single word reverberating in his brain: Spiethmania.

This article appeared in the most recent issue of SI Golf+ Digital, our weekly e-magazine. Click here to read this week’s issue and sign up for a free subscription.

via Jordan Spieth Didn’t Win the Open, But So What? Spiethmania Is On!

 

Jordan Spieth serenaded with ‘The Eyes of Texas’ at British Open | Bevo Takes on the Old Course

Jordan Spieth serenaded with ‘The Eyes of Texas’ at British Open as he walked up the 18 fairway as he approached the lead in the British Open. Nice moment. Check out this article.

Jordan Spieth of the United States tees off on the 18th hole during the third round of the 144th Open Championship at The Old Course on July 19, 2015 in St Andrews, Scotland.  (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

Jordan Spieth of the United States tees off on the 18th hole during the third round of the 144th Open Championship at The Old Course on July 19, 2015 in St Andrews, Scotland. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

Jordan Spieth supporters brought a little bit of Austin to St. Andrews, Scotland on Sunday. The former Longhorn and golf wunderkind is currently playing in the 144th British Open, the oldest major championship in professional golf.

Spieth attended the University of Texas at Austin for one full year before leaving school to start his professional career during his sophomore year.

Spieth went into the weekend looking to treat the Open as just another event, but after winning both the Master’s and the U.S. Open earlier this year, he could be on his way to a Grand Slam. He is currently 11 under par and one stroke behind leaders  Paul Dunne, Jason Day and Louis Oosthuizen.

The crowd at St. Andrews is certainly keeping spirits high; they sung the UT spirit song, “The Eyes of Texas” to Spieth as he walked onto No. 18 Sunday morning. You can see (and hear) Spieth’s special entrance below:

To get to know more about the young golf star-in-the-making, click here.

via Jordan Spieth serenaded with ‘The Eyes of Texas’ at British Open | Bevo Beat

 

Jordan Spieth Watched through Open playoff and was 1st to congratulate Zach Johnson

Jordan Spieth demonstrated more in defeat than in victory. This may be more valuble to Jordan, Golf, and sport. Instead of heading for the plane he sat through the Open playoff and was 1st to congratulate Zach Johnson. Demonstrates sportsmanship and class. Right there beside him was Michael Greller.

Instead of getting the hell out of St. Andrews, Jordan Spieth waits through the British Open playoff and is there to greet Zach Johnson as he walks off the 18th green.

Jordan Spieth won the first two majors of the year and missed going to a playoff in the third by inches. A win would have put him in the company of Ben Hogan, the last golfer to win these first three legs of a Grand Slam in a single season in 1953.

You might think Spieth would be furious, incredulous, depressed and not sit around the extra hour or so and wait for the three-man four-hole playoff to finish. But he, and his caddie Michael Greller, were among the first people not in the actual playoff on the 18th green to greet winner Zach Johnson.

After the round, he called Johnson a role model.

via Jordan Spieth sat through Open playoff and was 1st to congratulate Zach Johnson