by Zephyr Melton / Image: PGA Tour
As Jordan Spieth seeks a rebound, HK Golfer reflects on his legendary collegiate career.
The vast media contingent facing Jordan Spieth during a PGA TOUR tournament last summer was nothing unexpected. As a past champion and former FedExCup No. 1, there was obvious intrigue surrounding the budding 25 year-old superstar. But instead of questions related to the positive steps he had recently taken in his
game, or even the Travelers Championship win he was participating in as a past champion, the inquiries carried a much more negative undertone.
“What do you most need to improve on do you think right now?” “Where do you feel like your game is?” The questions were certainly valid. Since his victory at The Open Championship in 2017 - his 11th PGA Tour victory and third Major championship, all before his 24th birthday - Spieth seems to have lost some of the magic that made him such a rising sensation.
A consummate professional, Spieth was patient and graceful in his responses. “My iron and wedge play is just…it’s way below my normal standard, and so that needs to significantly improve,” he said. “(I’m) not anywhere near where I want to be; I need to gain significant control of the ball teeto-green.”
At a glance, the last 24 months for Spieth on the golf course have been solid. He owns 12 top 10s and has missed just eight cuts. But a 12th career Tour victory has eluded him ever since he departed Royal Birkdale, and his Official World Golf Ranking has steadily trended in the opposite direction.
It’s fair to wonder how all of the highs began to steadily taper off for Spieth. The baby-faced Texan made things look so easy when he first burst onto the professional golf scene in 2013 with a dramatic victory at the John Deere Classic, and his game only elevated from there.
But Spieth’s legend started long before his chip-in to force a playoff on the 18th hole at TPC Deere Run on that fateful July day. Most remember the form that Spieth was in during his electric 2015 season, and some even remember as far back as his Sunday 63 to win the Australian Open in 2014, his first professional victory.
However, few know the stories of Spieth’s dynamic freshman season at the University of Texas – a season that ended with a team National Championship and
Spieth feeling satisfied enough with his amateur accomplishments that he would turn professional at end of the year.
University of Texas men’s golf coach John Fields knew Spieth was special from the first time he saw him play as a junior golfer. “I knew that I wanted him to come
to Texas,” he said.