American Pharoah reminded us that horse racing’s Triple Crown is rare and difficult to achieve but not impossible — like, say, golf’s Grand Slam. That, obviously, isn’t possible because no one — not Hogan or Nicklaus or Woods — has accomplished it in the same year. Yet, an outstanding young man from Dallas named Jordan Spieth has a chance this year.
In short order, the former Jesuit Prep and University of Texas star has fast-forwarded from talk of being one of the best players today to one of the best ever. That’s the profound conversation Spieth entered recently when he added a U.S. Open championship to his Masters triumph two months ago.
Spieth is a gentleman, humble, dedicated to his family and friends, and lover of the great game of golf for the pure joy of winning and to be the best, not for prize money or endorsements.
If he could somehow do the unthinkable and win the British Open in July and the PGA Championship in August, he would stand alone as the only golfer to win the four modern majors in a calendar year. Not possible, right? “Every single thing that I’m able to do, somebody seems to find a history lesson on why I was the youngest to do something or as young as somebody way back when,” he said. “For me, this is my life. I’ve now been doing it for a while. I don’t really think of my age.”
The five golfers before 21-year-old Spieth to win the Masters and U.S. Open in the same season:
1941 – Craig Wood, 39 years old
1951 – Ben Hogan, 38, and again at 40
1960 – Arnold Palmer, 30
1972 – Jack Nicklaus, 32
2002 – Tiger Woods, 26
The Jordan Spieth Shootout last October raised money for the Jordan Spieth Family Foundation, which supports junior golf, military families and special needs youth. He got on stage to introduce his sister Ellie, who lives with autism. She has and continues to be a major influence in his life. “I’d like my legacy to be about what I did off the course more than on the course,” he said. “And if I can do what I want on the course, that means I’ve got a lot of work to do off the course.”