It’s been five years since Spieth turned professional, here's a look at his rise to world-beater status. By Matt Cradock
Jordan Spieth’s Journey To World-Beater
Throughout his life Spieth has had to make many tough decisions but time after time he has proved his critics wrong and made a huge success of himself.
Here is a look back on Spieth’s short but incredible PGA Tour career so far.
Spieth had previous PGA Tour experience before he officially turned pro, appearing at the HP Byron Nelson Championship in 2010.
Having made the cut he was tied for 7th place after the third round, and finished the tournament in a tie for 16th.
In 2012, the Texan earned a spot in the US Open after Brandt Snedeker withdrew from the tournament. He would tie for 21st and would finish as the lowest amateur.
However, later on in the year he would fail to advance to the final stage of the PGA Tour Q School, from there he would turn professional midway through his Second Year at the University of Texas.
In 2013 the 19-year-old American was starting his journey with caddie Michael Greller who only a few weeks earlier had been teaching 11 and 12 year olds Maths and Science.
His first ever tournament as a Professional was the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines; he would miss the cut by two shots.
Speaking about the round he said: “It was my first pro round, and I knew it, and maybe that was what held me back that day, I’d played eight PGA Tour tournaments before as an amateur, but when you say that you’re a pro and you don’t have the ‘a’ next to your name, it’s a different feeling teeing off for the first time.”
The American had spent more than a week in San Diego but hadn’t gained any money for his time or efforts. However it had ignited his desire to earn his spot on Tour.
In his next start he would finish T22nd at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, earning $65,000.
Related: AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am
After a strong showing it was onto a four-week stretch that would change his life forever.
The Web.com had its season opening event in Panama and Spieth finished a highly respectable T7. He followed it up with a T4 finish in Colombia.
Spieth however was left with a problem, he had earned a start in Chile and only needed $4,000 to get his Web.com Card but he also had an invitation to the PGA Tour’s Puerto Rico Open.
Spieth weighed up his options and due to the fact he wanted to honour his commitment to the Puerto Rico Open and also the fact he had a dozen friends and family coming to watch he decided to play.
“The blessing in disguise was that all those people had booked flights and I almost felt bad, so therefore I made my decision (to go to Puerto Rico),” Spieth said.
The decision paid off, as by the third round he was only four shots off the lead.
He would find himself tied for the lead with just five holes of the tournament left to play.
Although he played his last holes in even par and missed out on the victory by a shot he still received $308,000 for his T2 finish.
The next week at The Valspar Championship Spieth was stood on the 17th tee projected to finish $200 short of the money he would need for membership to the PGA Tour.
He would miss the green on the 17th with his approach but would hole the pitch for birdie; he would then par the 18th to finish 7th, winning $148,893 to secure his status on the PGA Tour.
See what equipment the Texan used to win…
If you are looking for a textbook illustration…
“As I walked off, I remember seeing TV coverage and I’m grinning ear-to-ear. I knew exactly what that par meant at the time. It meant that I had a job on the PGA Tour,” he said afterwards.
Four months later Spieth would hole out from a greenside bunker on the 72nd hole at the John Deere Classic to get into a playoff.
On the fifth extra hole of the three man playoff he would claim his first PGA Tour victory, becoming the fourth youngest PGA Tour winner and the first teenager to win for 82 years.
The end of 2013 saw Spieth named in Fred Couples’ Presidents Cup team before picking up the the Rookie of the Year award.
The following year he finished runner-up to Bubba Watson in his Masters debut. This finished moved him into the world’s top 10. Following the USPGA Championship he was named in the Ryder Cup side.
The 2015 season is his best season to date claiming several PGA Tour wins and majors as well as individual awards.
He would then win a second John Deere Classic in yet another playoff and would claim the Tour Championship and the FedEx Cup.
He finished 2015 as world number one and claimed all the individual awards for the season, these were the: PGA Player of the Year and PGA Tour Player of the Year (Jack Nicklaus Trophy), The Vardon Trophy and Byron Nelson Award for leading the Tour in scoring average as well as the Arnold Palmer Award for leading the Tour’s money list.
Spieth carried on his dominance at the start of 2016 as he won the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, in that tournament he shot -30 and won by eight strokes
That year’s Masters, however, was one of the lowest points in his career. Starting the back nine on the final round he had a huge five-stroke advantage.
What happened next is seen as one of the biggest collapses in Masters history. He would bogey the 10th and 11th before hitting two balls into Rae’s Creek on the 12th. He would end up losing to Danny Willet by three shots.
Spieth would return to winning ways a month later claiming the Dean & DeLuca Invitational – his first PGA Tour win in his home state of Texas.
The American would then play a key role in USA’s victory at the Ryder Cup claiming 2.5 points out 5.
His Open victory featured ‘that hole’ on the 13th where he subsequently took 20 minutes to play a shot after getting a ruling from the right rough.
He played his 3rd shot from the driving range and made a superb bogey before going birdie-eagle-birdie-birdie-par to steal the show at Royal Birkdale.
As well as the three wins in 2017, the American also brought out his first range of golf shoes with Under Armour known as the Spieth 1.
2018 has seen the release of the new Under Armour Spieth 2 Shoes.
What lies ahead for Spieth?
It’s still hard to believe he is only 24-years-old and has, potentially, another 20 years at the top of the game.
There is no doubt in my mind he will complete the Grand Slam as he goes in search of the USPGA Championship in 2018.
Having been one of the most consistent performers on the circuit in his first five years as a pro, there is also no question he is going to win a lot more on the PGA Tour and cement his legacy as one of the golfing greats.
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