Orlando (Florida): The last fortnight has confirmed what the golfing fraternity has sensed for a while — that Jordan Spieth is indeed a world-class player with all the attributes of a superstar, whose win by a double-digit margin at the World Hero Challenge is only a sign of bigger things to come.
Jordan Spieth poses with the winner's trophy yesterday in Orlando. Pic/AFP
Knocking on the doors for a while after he won his first PGA Tour title in 2013, he went through 2014 with a series of top-10s, including some of them in big events and then finally as the year meandered into the post-season (that is, after the main PGA Tour), he exhibited his interest in becoming a global golfer and a willingness to work hard to improve.
All that paid off in huge measure, as he came within a shot of making the play-off at the Dunlop Phoenix event in Japan, where he ultimately ended third. A week later, with Cameron McCormick by his side, he took his putting to a new level and in Isleworth at Hero World Challenge, he killed all opposition in Tiger-esque manner with a lead that kept swelling up over the weekend.
Spieth's success this week created series of records — his score of 26-under 262 was a tournament record, as was the 10-shot victory margin and he is also the first player to ever win this event in wire to wire fashion besides being the youngest Hero World Challenge winner.
With Spieth not letting up, Henrik Stenson (69) was a distant second at 16-under 272, while Patrick Reed (68) and Keegan Bradley (70) tied for third at 15-under and Jason Day (66) was fifth at 14-under, while Rickie Fowler (68) and Justin Rose (71) were tied sixth. Tiger Woods (72) tied for 17th and last in a field of 18.
Spieth won the fans and media over with his candidness and simplicity. Soon after receiving his Trophy from Pawan Munjal of Hero MotoCorp, Spieth was asked what his game plan was when he started with a seven-shot lead on final day, "I didn't really know what the game plan was really going to be when I woke up this morning. I've never been in this position to be really far out front starting the day.
"You know, you just got to be as positive as — you got to really just think of it as I'm playing my best golf and it's beating the best players in the world right now. You got to take that confidence into the round." Jordan Spieth sure knows his game, his manners and etiquette, all of which will come in handy as he keeps
climbing the stairs of achievements.
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