What a difference a year makes. Last December, PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Jordan Spieth was ranked 810 in the world, and studying for his finals at the University of Texas. Today, he is ranked 22nd in the Official World Golf Rankings, winner of the John Deere Classic, and a member of Captain Fred Couples 2013 Presidents Cup team. He is also teeing it up in The Northwestern Mutual World Challenge golf tournament this week, replacing an ailing Brandt Snedeker.
The 20 year-old rookie won the John Deere Classic in July and immediately boarded a jet for Scotland to participate in the Open Championship the following week. For the year, he ended up with nine top-10s, including a win and four second-place finishes.
“Each year going back to when I was 12 years old, I’ve improved,” Spieth said. “This year, a big focus of mine is on the majors. Now I’m in all four of them and can pick my schedule leading up to them to have the best success I can versus not even knowing I was going to be in a couple of them, one of them the day before.
Jason Dufner took to Twitter to ask tournament host Tiger Woods if the World Challenge could change to 36 holes on Thursday and Friday “so I can watch my beloved Auburn” play for the SEC Championship.
If nothing else, it got Woods to tweet something for the first time in a month: “Petition denied.”
Auburn and Missouri play at 1 p.m. PST, so Dufner’s best hope is to play so poorly in the opening two rounds that he’s off the course by then.
Woods, who went to Stanford, has no such problem. The Cardinal and Arizona State play for the Pac-12 title at 4:45 p.m. PST, well after the third round is over. Meanwhile, Oklahoma State (Hunter Mahan) goes after a Big 12 title when it plays Oklahoma at 9 a.m. PST.
What’s really funny about this story? As bad as the world’s number six golfer needed a win before we tear December off our calendars, he actually felt bad for beating Adam Scott on Sunday at the Emirates Australian Open. Rory McIlroy made up a four shot deficit to beat Scott with a ten foot birdie putt on the last hole for the win, and prevented the Masters Champ from completing the Aussie Slam.
Rory McIlroy may have apologized to the fans Sunday for spoiling Adam Scott’s bid for the Australian triple crown, but make no mistake: His deep exhale after holing the winning putt on the 72nd hole showed just how much this drought-busting victory truly meant to him
It was the second time in the last two years that the U.S. Golf Association and Royal & Ancient have established new guidelines involving video.
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