Two months ago, I wrote a post about Jordan Spieth, the 21-year-old phenom who also comes across as a truly nice guy.
I had seen him play last year, and something about him grabbed me. He seemed so unassuming, so clean-cut, so very good. And his game was remarkable, which he proved over several months of coming in first twice and second three times. At the ripe old age of 21.
So, he went out two months ago and won the Masters, with its iconic green jacket as a symbol of excellence, which is the first of four major tournaments on the men’s PGA tour. And he won it commandingly. He led all four rounds, and the end result was not a surprise.
This past weekend at the U.S. Open, the end result was a shock! There was drama galore, from the wildly beautiful but hugely difficult golf course (Chambers Bay on Puget Sound in Washington state), to the complaints that putting on the greens “was like putting on broccoli,” to Jason Day’s sudden severe bout of vertigo (and his gritty playing through it all), to Dustin Johnson’s dreadful last two putts, either of which could have changed the outcome.
There was also a different kind of drama quietly played out: the collapse of men who are hardly in their dotage (39 for Tiger Woods, 45 for Phil Mickelson) but played horribly (+16 for Tiger, who missed the cut, and +13 for Phil, who played all four days).
In the end, to his obvious shock, Jordan Spieth emerged victorious. He had finished just before Dustin Johnson, so all he could do was wait and watch. He had had his ups and downs for four days, and although I knew he could win, I wasn’t sure he would win. He admitted he didn’t have his best stuff on any of the days, but he kept his focus on his next shot and then the next one — and look what happened!
For me, these four days have been a great reminder of values I believe in (as I mentioned in my Father’s Day Post), and they were exhibited by Jordan Spieth and many others in the tournament. And this was a reality show like no other because it was really real. No script.
At the end, there was one young man who will continue to have that “monkey” on his back about not being able to win his first major, and another who will have even more pressure on him than he has had over the last two years. If you’re at all interested, you can see more here.
Did you watch the tournament? What did you think about all the goings-on?