By Cameron Morfit, PGATOUR.COM
Although Justin Thomas won the FedExCup last fall, he’s the first to admit that among the highly decorated high school Class of 2011, Jordan Spieth (who finished second in the Playoffs) remains the valedictorian.
Simply put, no one else can match Spieth’s numbers: He has won 11 times, including three majors, since the start of 2015. More mind-boggling still, he will go for the career grand slam at the PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis, Aug. 9-12.
And he’s still just 24. (He will be 25 by the time he plays the PGA.)
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In case you were living on the moon last season, Spieth made the bogey of the year at The Open Championship, his 5 from the driving range next to the 13th hole at Royal Birkdale featuring a wide-right tee shot; a 20-minute ruling; and an up-and-down to limit the damage.
Two holes later, Spieth rolled in a long eagle putt and told his caddie, Michael Greller, “Go get that.” (Golden State Warriors shooting guard and sensational amateur golfer Stephan Curry would later repeat the unforgettable quip at the Web.com Tour’s Ellie Mae Classic.) Spieth would go 5 under on the last five holes to defeat playing partner Matt Kuchar by three strokes.
Keep in mind, all of this riveting theater took place a month after Spieth hit the unofficial shot of the year, his delirium-inducing bunker hole-out to beat Daniel Berger in a sudden-death playoff at the Travelers Championship in Connecticut. The image of a flying rake and a soaring Spieth and Greller crashing into one another in celebration won’t soon be forgotten.
Spieth led the TOUR in scoring (68.846), birdies per round (4.49), and Strokes Gained: Approach-the-Green (.906). He will defend titles in 2018 at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, the Travelers and The Open. But the truth is Spieth can win anywhere; of his 11 TOUR titles, he has hoisted only one tournament trophy twice, at the John Deere Classic.
This is one of the most staggering talents we’ve seen in decades.