Monday, September 28

'Major' Week Caps Major Year for Jordan Spieth

"THIS IS INCREDIBLE," SAID JORDAN SPIETH after wrapping up his fifth PGA Tour victory of the year at the season-ending Tour Championship.

In fact, you could say Spieth put a wrap on everything, also winning the FedEx Cup worth $10 million, returning to No. 1 in the world (displacing Jason Day, who was on top for one week), putting an exclamation point on Player of the Year (although it's not official), winning the Vardon Trophy and finishing the season with record earnings.

I could think of other adjectives, but I suppose Spieth's "incredible" will do. As NBC golf anlayst Johnny Miller said more than once, "You just got to keep reminding yourself this guy is 22 years old."

Spieth is hyper-motivated. After winning the year's first two majors, contending in the other two and winning a pair of other tour events, the young Texan could have coasted through the dregs of the PGA Tour season.

But no.

"This is an event where we approach it like a major championship because we know this is possible at the end of it," Spieth said. "We didn't have a great playoffs but we put a lot of hard work into this week. I was out here early Monday morning. We approached it as if it was a major, and mentally we stayed in it even when I didn't have my best ball striking. Boy that putter sure paid off."

The hints of greatness are in that answer. Like the legends, Spieth wins without his best. Hard work, mental approach, competitiveness and "that putter" lift Spieth to greater heights than his extremely accomplished peers.

Poor Henrik Stenson. Did you see the looks on his face as Spieth dropped putts from every distance on East Lake's slick greens?

"I got frustrated," Spieth said about his play in recent weeks.

"I missed two cuts in a row. I had never done that. I lost the number one ranking. I was watching Jason Day just dominate golf. It was frustrating so I got to work. Put my head down a little more right after the PGA knowing we could still peak this week and that is what we did."

"Unreal." That was Spieth's adjective for his year.

"I don't know how we sit down and figure out how to improve on it," he said, "but we are going to try to do that."

That will be fun to watch.

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