When Jordan Spieth romped to the Masters title as a 21-year-old in 2015, Sports Illustrated’s cover screamed, “The Spieth era begins now.”
Presumptuous maybe, but the potential was there. He was the second youngest winner behind Tiger Woods, the only other player to have also won the US Junior Amateur title more than once.
When Spieth added the US Open title two months later — the youngest winner since the great amateur Bobby Jones in 1923 — it looked like a solid forecast.
Now, ahead of his second shot at clinching the career grand slam of all four major titles at this week’s US PGA at Bellerive, it seems the headline was both sort of right and sort of wrong.
Right, in the sense that having just turned 25, the US PGA title this week would make him the second youngest player after Woods — and only the sixth in history — to achieve the feat. And if not this year, he will have plenty of other chances and could amass more major titles along the way.
“This tournament will always be circled until hopefully I win it one day,” Spieth told reporters at Bellerive. “It’s a lifelong goal.”
Wrong, in that an “era” arguably suggests a period of domination, and despite the plaudits for his play and demeanour during that breakthrough Masters win — fellow Texan and two-time Masters champion Ben Crenshaw said Spieth was “way mature beyond his years” — the Woods-esque domination hasn’t quite yet occurred.