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There are those players who have an almost unmatched aura that will follow them throughout their career. Think of Tiger Woods, who has been raising passions since 1997 and who is now the idol of several generations. We can even think of his son Charlie, who has a strut that will make more than one jealous, even with only 13 years!
For the youngsters, there will always be these same two golfers who leave fans on the edge of their chairs all the time: Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth. While McIlroy’s failed attempts to complete his Grand Slam are well known, the same cannot be said for Spieth.
The American will try this week to win the PGA Championship, the only major missing from his list. If all goes well, Spieth could become the sixth golfer in PGA history to accomplish the feat, and the group he could join is a particularly strong one: Jack Nicklaus, Ben Hogan, Gene Sarazen, Gary Player and Tiger Woods. And at 28, only Woods and Nicklaus would have completed the Grand Slam faster.
For those who followed Spieth’s first steps on the circuit in 2014-2015, it’s not a surprise. In fact, it’s almost a surprise to discover that he’s still missing one of the four major tournaments on his list. Let’s go back.
Spieth begins a dream year in 2014-2015 with several strong performances, including a win at the Challenge Hero World, an unofficial PGA event. He then won for the first time of his season in the Valspar Championship in March 2015, a second career win for him. A few weeks later, Spieth wrote the first chapter of the legend of him. He won the green jacket at just 21 years and eight months in the Masters Tournament, becoming the second youngest golfer to win at Augusta. The only player ahead of him? Tiger Woods.
In the summer of 2015, Spieth followed up with a second major tournament victory at the US Open, before adding the John Deer Classic to his meteoric season. Spieth would conclude his remarkable year by winning the Tour Championship, a fifth victory that would earn him the PGA Most Valuable Player Award.
Right now, the golf world is in ecstasy. Spieth’s successes are eerily reminiscent of the beginnings of a certain Tiger Woods and we thought we had found the next golf superstar, even if they were too big shoes to wear.
The good performances of the American are transposed to the following season, with two victories. Spieth then made it to ten in the 2016-2017 season, when he won three times, including the British Open. He only needed one PGA Championship victory to complete a Grand Slam and the best part was that he was still only 23 years old.
Then the void. Spieth becomes disoriented and experiences a losing streak of almost four years. The man in whom the world of golf placed so much hope had lost all means of him. Despite a colossal job in pushing him, nothing helped. Spieth’s mental strength leaves him completely, he is no longer a shadow of his former self in his long game. A few years later, we learn that he is bothered by an injury to his left hand and that he refused surgery to repair the bone fragments present in his hand.
Spieth’s unexpected revival comes in the spring of 2021. He demonstrates impeccable consistency worthy of his golden years, and Spieth signs the 12Y victory of his career thanks to an accumulated -18 in the Valero Texas Open.
All of this brings us to the 2022 season. After struggles this winter and a tough cut at the Masters Tournament, Spieth bounced back quickly. In mid-April, Spieth scored an impressive overtime victory over Patrick Cantlay at the RBC Legacy Classic, and that win speaks volumes about what we got to see at the PGA Championship. He excelled with his long game, but ran into all sorts of trouble on the greens…in what is usually his weapon of choice.
“I won this tournament without being good on the greens. It’s one of my worst tournaments at this level when I’m in the running to win. »
Now imagine this same Jordan Spieth, but in full possession of his means. Magnificent control of the game throughout him. Accurate approach shots. Rolls worthy of the best years of it. If everything is in place and Spieth is in good mental shape, he could very well have a date with history next Sunday. He also set the stage for his appearance at the PGA Championship last weekend by taking second place from Byron Nelson, one stroke away from victory.
History says that a Spieth victory is far from unlikely. During his brilliant season in 2015, he took second place, three shots behind Jason Day and the victory. Then in 2019 he was back at the top of his game in a few tournaments. He took the opportunity to shine with a third position in the PGA Championship, dominated by Brooks Koepka.
a favorable environment
The 2022 edition of the PGA Championship will be held at Southern Hills Country Club, Oklahoma, and all conditions seem favorable for a strong performance by the American.
A native of Frisco, just hours from Tulsa, where the tournament will take place this year, Spieth will be able to take on a course eerily similar to the Texas courses he was used to growing up. Fast greens, constant wind.
The story can wait for Jordan Spieth in a few days. All he has to do is seize the opportunity.
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