Did we ever think there would be another Tiger Woods? Let’s face it, no one will ever be able to make an impact on the game of golf like he did. But, I think the next best thing is here and I think you might be surprised at how similar he is to Tiger.
Meet 20-year-old Jordan Spieth. Jordan joined the tour when he was only 19 years old, and before that he made the cut for the HP Byron Nelson Championship in 2010, making him the sixth youngest to make a PGA Tour event cut.
Jordan wasn’t even 18 and was ranked the number one junior golfer in the United States in 2011. Maybe he didn’t get recognized as young as Tiger, but he sure did make a name for himself early in his career. He and Woods are the only two to win the U.S. Amateur multiple times.
Thanks to Brandt Snedeker withdrawing from the 2012 U.S. Open, Spieth was offered an alternate spot. This was his biggest tournament start yet.
In 2013 he won the John Deere Classic, which was only his fifth tournament as a pro. Tiger’s first victory on tour came during his fifth event also, however he joined the tour at age 21.
Tiger and Jordan both left college early to turn pro. But before leaving they helped their college golf teams win an NCAA Championship in their two years of college.
After going pro, both athletes signed with athletic apparel companies, Woods of course with Nike, and Spieth with Under Armour. Okay, this is getting freaky.
Spieth has become the closest player to match Tiger’s stats so far. Even though it is early in his career, the young Texan seems very hungry.
There is no way we can compare him to one of the greatest golfers just yet, but the early stats of Tiger’s career versus what Spieth has done since he was about 15 years old are almost identical. This gives me reason to believe that Spieth might be Woods’ biggest challenger yet.
Jordan recently said in an interview that he has learned to be emotionally neutral during his rounds. This is a great quality for golfers to have because getting upset can only pile on negative thoughts, something you don’t want to have in a game that is so mental.
This is one of Tiger’s best qualities. It is rare that you see any kind of emotion in his face. Aside from the occasional fist pump or self-reminders, “Ugh, Tiger”, he always seems so focused. Something Jordan can definitely admire about him.
They are both known for making incredible shots on a consistent basis, but what sets them apart from other golfers is that they eat, sleep and breathe golf. They are practicing and getting better every second they can.
I’m not saying that other golfers don’t do this, but a youngster like Spieth has more time to focus on the game without other things like a wife and kids. This leaves room for his real love: the game of golf.
It is scary how similar they are. This isn’t even the start of it. Jordan has become a part of a Tour that offers more technological advances to the game than ever. Clearly an advantage to when Tiger was his age. Could this be the factor that puts him ahead?
Both golfers are so much fun to watch. People who normally wouldn’t watch golf do because of these two.
Spieth is a great role model for young kids. You can thank Rickie Fowler for starting that trend; he is one of the coolest cats out there. It is not only his age though that makes Jordan a role model. It is his work ethic, his maturity on tour and his passion.
I like where the PGA and LPGA Tour are headed. As the players get younger and better it makes the sport more popular. Isn’t it ironic that Tiger Woods decline happens as soon as this kid shows up? Maybe, it’s a sign.
So, is Jordan Spieth the next Tiger Woods? The start of his career sure is similar. Hopefully Spieth takes lessons from Tiger’s career on what to do and what not to do. Jordan Spieth can be as similar to Tiger as he wants, but my one piece of advice for him is just don’t wear red on Sundays.