Jun 21, 2015; University Place, WA, USA; Jordan Spieth looks at the U.S. Open Championship Trophy after winning the 2015 U.S. Open golf tournament at Chambers Bay. Mandatory Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports
Jordan Spieth has filled in two sides of the square he needs to accomplish what the odds-makers are saying is impossible. Now he’s taking on the Open Championship and Spieth has told Sport Golf’s James Corrigan that the 2015 Grand Slam is “in the realms of possibility” him. But Spieth knows that the next step in his Don Quixotian quest is to tame the Old Course and outplay Rory McIlroy.
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The Open Championship is looming like a high drama and St Andrews’ Old Course is exactly the right venue for this gladiatorial clash between McIlroy and Spieth. The ancient Home of Golf inspires, intimidates, and challenges. It’s iconic Swilcan Bridge and Hell Bunker on the par-5 14th anchor our golf fancies. There’s not a man or women who’s ever teed up a golf ball who doesn’t dream of teeing it up at St Andrews, of strolling across that bridge, of avoiding that bunker!
"I fell in love with it the first day I played it. There’s just no other golf course that is even remotely close. Jack Nicklaus, Open Champion, 1970, 1978"
Chambers Bay was Spieth’s warm-up. Now he plainly and starkly and unequivocally wants to hoist the Claret Jug.
Make no mistake about this man, Jordan Spieth. He’s no shy, young Texas cowpoke recently come to town, stubbing his toe in the dust and blushing modestly as he ponders the magnificence of coming to the Open Championship competition for the first time.
Au contraire. With two 2015 victories that have set him apart and above the playing field, young Mr. Spieth is keenly aware of his position in today’s game and of how this position has elevated him to an elite level. He knows that at 21 he’s the youngest player to win both the Masters Championship and the US Open. He knows he’s the youngest player since Bobby Jones to win the US Open. Knowing all this gives him “goosebumps” that temper his understanding of what must be accomplished to move that elevation up another notch. But never forget that tempering strengthens steel.
"We will go to St Andrews looking to win and I believe we will be able to get the job done if we get the right prep in. Jordan Spieth, Masters Champion, US Open Champion, 2015"
Because Spieth is a man of his word, he’ll play in the John Deere Classic July 9-12 and that will slice down his prep time to a maximum of three days. He and Michael Greller will have their work cut out for them. They’ve allowed 72 hours to get ready to do what the game’s giants — Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods — have failed to accomplish.
Despite the odds against him — 1 in 100 is the current estimate — Jordan Spieth wants to step up alongside Ben Hogan. Can he do it?
Can the guy who dominated Augusta National wire-to-wire and then, with a little bit of luck, survived charges by Dustin Johnson, Louis Oosthuizen and Branden Grace last week at Chambers Bay, defy the odds, the wind and likely rain, and the fight that’s sure to come from Rory McIlroy and do it again?
I’m liking those odds!