Spieth Masters the competition

By this point we all know Jordan Spieth’s name. After falling just short at the Masters last year to Bubba Watson, Spieth went on a hot streak leading up to take the green jacket this year.

 

Spieth became the first wire-to-wire winner at the event since Raymond Floyd did it in 1976. Spieth tied the scoring record set by Tiger Woods in 1997 with an 18-under par 270 for four rounds. He’s also the second youngest Masters winner ever, just a few months older than Tiger was in ’97 (both were 21).

 

Spieth’s achievements are going to get a lot of publicity in the short term, as well they should. And one idea that will gain a lot of traction is this dream of Spieth being “the next Tiger.”

 

Stop. He’s not. There will never be another Tiger. The same way there won’t be another Michael Jordan in basketball.

Sports fans have this insane tendency to scour the globe for the next greatest whatever. I think that in doing that, we rob ourselves of watching and appreciating greatness in its own time.

Pressure is on Rory McIlroy or Jordan Spieth to take golf over the way Tiger did in the early 2000s, and that debate detracts from watching two stellar young golfers as they just get the ball rolling on their promising young careers.

 

One thing being lost in the shuffle of talking about the “next great” is that with his Masters win, Spieth moved up to No. 2 in the world. With Rory currently holding the top spot, this is the first time ever that the top two golfers in the world are both 25 or younger. That in and of itself should catch the eye of even casual fans of the sport.

 

Another great point being lost, and this one could appeal to those set on comparing current top guys to their predecessors, is that with Rory fully taking the lead role for golf from Tiger in the last year combined with Spieth’s emergence, another quality rivalry appears to be budding to take the place of the Tiger-Phil Mickelson one that held center stage for so long.

 

Instead of spending airtime and keystrokes beating the same dead horses about whether someone is “the next Tiger” or whether someone will pass Jack Nicklaus’s record of 18 major wins, lets talk about how amazing Spieth’s performance was, how he shook off a run by all the big name contenders you would hope would take a shot at him (like Phil, Tiger and Rory) and sank putt after putt to keep the pack at bay.

With Rory still just a green jacket shy of the career grand slam and Spieth hitting his stride at a time when most people would be preparing to graduate from college, let’s focus on the seemingly bright future of golf, rather than dwell on comparing it to the past.