There has been a long list of golfers tipped to be the next Tiger Woods but they all haven’t worked out. All except Jordan Spieth.
So, just who is this youngster who is tipped for the top?
By Becki Cookson – @beckicookson
Jordan Spieth was born and raised in Dallas, Texas where he attended St Monica Catholic School and Jesuit College Preparatory School (class of 2011). As or his personal life, he is dating his high school sweetheart Annie Verret and you can judge for yourself why people are calling her stunning.
But back to golf. Now enthusiasts of the sport will have been aware of Spieth for some time now.
The 21-year-old won the Junior Amateur in 2009 and 2011, becoming the first person since Tiger Woods to accomplish that feat. He has seen his world ranking skyrocket over the past two years and is currently 14th in the rankings. It all culminated in an incredible performance at the Masters where his T-2 finish was the best ever by someone his age.
But the tournament in Augusta served as an introduction to Spieth for the majority of the general public. This youngster could well be America’s next big golf star.
He is certainly is a humble lad – that’s for sure. A recent Sports Illustrated profile noted that even after banking $4 million in twenty-three starts in 2013 as well as signing lucrative sponsorship deals with Titleist and Rolex, Spieth drove a 2008 plate Yukan with 110,000 miles on it. His only splurge last year according to the story, was on a Dallas Cowboys season ticket.
Spieth is also very marketable and in a sport with not so many young American stars, advertisers will surely be tripping over themselves to sign him.
Earlier in the year, Bob Doofman, executive creative director at Baker Street Advertising, told the Dallas Morning News: “At 20 (now 21), he can attract a younger demographic to the game and has a squeaky clean image that traditionalists can get behind. Sure it would be nice if he had a little more charisma and uniqueness but “20-year-old phenomenon” will do just fine for now.”
As for his future in the sport it would be foolish to doubt Spieth after he has succeeded on every level.
After his Stellar Amateur career, Spieth enrolled at Texas and led the Longhorns to the NCAA Championship. He was named Big 12 Freshman of the Year and Player of the Year and was a first team All-American.
Before turning eighteen in July 2011, he was No.1 in the Polo Golf Rankings which determines the United States’ best young golfers. He finished second in the 2008 and 2009 Junior PGA Championship. The American Junior Golf Association named him the Rolex Junior Player of the Year in 2009.
In December 2012, he turned pro at the youthful age of nineteen and in July 2013 he won the John Deere Classic, making him the youngest PGA Tour winner in 82 years. He was then named 2013 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year after jumping more than 800 spots up the world rankings in the span of a few months.
Following an exhilarating run at the Masters, which saw him leading the eventual champion Bubba Watson on the final day, Spieth was a 25-to-1 favourite to win the U.S. Open. If he would have held on to his two-stroke lead he would have become the youngest Masters champion in history taking the record from Tiger Woods who won when he was 21.
Two years earlier in 2010, he accepted an exemption to play in the PGA Tour’s HP Byron Nelson Championship – the event’s first amateur exemption since 1995. The tournaments previous exemptions included Justin Leonard and Tiger Woods in 1993. He made the cut, becoming, at that time, the sixth-youngest player to make the cut at a PGA Tour event. Spieth was tied for 7th place after the third round but couldn’t maintain his good performance and ended up finishing the tournament in a tie for 16th place. The tournament came around again in 2011 and he was offered another exemption into it where he again made the cut and but was not as successful as two years previous – finishing in a tie for 32nd.
Also in 2011, Spieth was a member of the Walker Cup team, and played in three of the four rounds, halving his foursomes match and winning both single matches.
He partnered with Under Armour for sponsorship in January 2013 and with BioSteel Sports Supplements in March. As a result of his uncommon maturity combine with talent, Spieth is already amongst the sport’s most popular players. He earned an estimated $4.5 million off the course last year according to the Golf Digest 50, Ron Sirak’s annual survey of golfs 50 top earners which counts on and off-course income. Spieth represents Under Armour, Rolex, NetJets, Titleist and now also AT&T, ranked 18th overall ($9,169,820).
When Jordan Spieth earned himself a spot on the 2013 Presidents Cup team it was not only historic but it was one of the catalysts which led him to start the Jordan Spieth Charitable Trust. The PGA Tour’s $150,000 donation, along with personal contributions and sponsor matches started the trust in 2013 as a platform to lend time, awareness and financial assistance to special needs youth, military families and junior golf.
Spieth really is one tipped for the top. A diamond in the sport of golf… Let’s just hope he doesn’t find himself in the rough.