In 2013, the world of golf has already seen some incredible stories. Tiger Woods reclaimed his place as the world’s top golfer with four wins at the year’s halfway point, and is back in pursuit of Jack Nicklaus’s record of 18 major victories. Young up-and-comers like Billy Horschel and Sang-Moon Bae have earned their first victories on the PGA Tour in dramatic fashion.
And of course, 14-year-old Tianlang Guan continues to make headlines after becoming the youngest player in history to make the cut at The Masters.
Somewhat lost in all of this is the success of 19-year-old Jordan Spieth. The Dallas native has enjoyed success at every level of golf, and while he just turned pro in December, he already has quite the resume. In 2010, Spieth made the cut at his first-ever PGA Tour event, the Byron Nelson Championship.
Playing his college golf at the University of Texas, Spieth helped the Longhorns win the national title in his freshman year on the way to being named the Big 12 player of the year, as well as a first team All-American. He capped off 2011 by winning the U.S. Junior Amateur for a second time (the first was in 2009), becoming the only player other than Woods to win that event multiple times.
Having earned “Special Temporary Member” status on the PGA Tour for 2013, the former Longhorn already has three top-10 finishes, including a tie for second at the Puerto Rico Open in March.
Spieth is playing in this week’s Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial Country Club as a “Champion’s Choice” entrant. This sort of tournament exemption is actually quite the high honor, as he was selected by a vote of previous winners of this tournament. Other players who have made their Colonial debut as a Champion’s Choice include some big names of golf, like Mark O’Meara, Paul Azinger and Davis Love III.
After the first round, Spieth is tied for seventh, three shots off the lead. If all goes well, he could join two-time major winner Dave Stockton as the only players to win at Colonial in their debut. Good company, indeed.
While he isn’t quite a household name just yet, the sky is truly the limit for Spieth. Even though he’s technically ineligible for the FedEx Cup playoffs this year, it wouldn’t surprise me to see him put together four great rounds and win a tournament to change that.
He’s already spent the better part of the last three years competing against the best players on the biggest stages in golf. Nobody’s a sure thing in this sport, but I expect to see some incredible things out of Spieth in the very, very near future.