With the PGA wondering when and where their next “Tiger Woods” would come from, hopes were fading thin and prospects were even thinner. Then Jordan Spieth enters the stage and gives the PGA hopes that their fans will have a new golfer to get behind, a golfer who will take the sport by storm and a golfer that will continue to win and not fade.
On Sunday, Spieth had a final-round of 4-under 68 to earn him a solo second-place finish at Whistling Straits and the top spot in the Official World Golf Ranking. Spieth was trying to make Whistling Straits the third major championship of the year.
Spieth called it “the best consolation prize ever.”
“I accomplished one of my life-long goals and in the sport of golf,” Spieth said. “That will never be taken away from me now. I’ll always be a No. 1 player in the world. That’s what, when I look back on this year, the consistency that we have had this year and especially being able to step it up in the biggest stages, that’s a huge confidence builder, and that’s what’s allowed us as a team to become the best, the No. 1 ranked, and I believe right now, the best in the world.”
He added, “It’s an incredible honor.”
The reigning Masters and U.S. Open champion also becomes just the third player in the history of the game to finish inside the top four in all four major championships in a season.
At 22-years young, Spieth becomes the second-youngest No. 1. Tiger Woods was 21 when he went to No. 1 in 1997. Spieth won his first major at the 2015 Masters Tournament with a score of 270 (−18). Spieth tied the 72-hole record set by Tiger Woods in 1997 and became the second youngest to win the Masters, behind Woods. He then won the 2015 U.S. Open with a final score of 5-under-par. Spieth was also the youngest U.S. Open champion since Bobby Jones in 1923.
Young age, the taste of success and a field of talented peers to push him to be the best, this should help Spieth put the PGA back on the map. With the PGA desperately seeking this since the demise of Tiger Woods this weekend could not have come at a better time.
Jason Day polished off the weekend with the honors of winning at Whistling Straits and Rory McIlroy takes back seat to Spieth in the Official World Golf Ranking (sprinkle in the whole Jordan Spieth story) all helped make the PGA a must watch this weekend. Plus, even though Tiger has not been competitive, the threat of a Tiger Woods come back always gets a spotlight in the PGA.
With all these story lines brewing like a category 5 hurricane, all eyes will be on the PGA for the rest of the season. Will Jordan Spieth become a household name like Tiger Woods, probably not. But with the anticipation of what could be, this alone will have many fans and spectators returning to the sport that left when the sport lacked any real talent.