On Sunday, Jordan Spieth etched his name into history with a U.S. Open victory — and once again opened up the conversation about golf’s new great rivalry.
When the rumblings of about a McIlroy/Spieth rivalry first started building faster than a Florida thunderstorm following Spieth’s route at the Masters, it was Spieth himself who doused the flames before the WGC-Cadillac Match Play Championship:
“I could certainly appreciate if I could get to where he’s at,’’ Spieth said of a potential rivalry with the current world No. 1. “Right now I don’t see myself there. There’s a lot of hard work that needs to be had to get there, and once I am there it’s certainly a huge goal of mine to make it interesting with him and possibly take over No. 1.’’
Well… how about now, Jordan?
Let’s be honest — if you’re snapping pictures like this one….
— Adam Fonseca (@AdamJFonseca) June 24, 2015
…Then you’re ready to start talking about a rivalry with the world’s No. 1 player.
Spieth may not want to talk about himself or about the rivalry that is undeniably bubbling up between he and McIlroy, but his peers seem to have no problem heaping on the praise.
“He’s a great guy, a great talent,” said Branden Grace — the man Spieth played with on Sunday at Chambers Bay. “He handled himself well and kept the mistakes off the scorecard.”
“You know what? I’m a huge fan of Jordan Spieth,” Billy Horschel said on Tuesday. “I’ve said it for many years now… The kid is 21 years old. The maturity he has in his game, how he understands his game, the way he goes about plotting around the golf course — he’s just an unbelievable kid.
“I mean, if I had a 21-year-old daughter,” Horschel joked, “I’d be trying to hook her up with Jordan Spieth.”
Even Bubba Watson has been supremely impressed by Spieth.
“What’s impressed me, as young as he is, is how much he’s grown and developed his mental game, his mental preparation,” Watson gushed. “When I was that age, you know, I was no where near where I’m at now and I’m not even close to what he’s at. As we all know, I got mental issues. I’m still working on it.
“Who knows if he’ll ever become No. 1 in the world, but he’s trending in that direction pretty quickly,” Watson said. “I’m just glad I got to beat him in ’14 before he went crazy this year.”
Honestly, arguing about whose future you’d rather have right now is like choosing between Clayton Kershaw and Felix Hernandez, or Steph Curry and LeBron James. Its a one and 1A situation.
Entering the season, the talk was about the “McIl-slam” — which was derailed by Spieth’s win at Augusta.
Now, all four majors are currently being held by either McIlroy or Spieth. That kind of domination is hard to argue with.
Whether he’s buying his own stock or not, the fact remains that Jordan Spieth deserves the same type of praise as Rory McIlroy if not more so. Spieth has done more faster than McIlroy and while the two have yet to lock horns in anything that has really mattered, the day they do will be one of the most legendary in golf history.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering we’re just 22 days from the Open Championship at St. Andrews.
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