Jordan Spieth continues to amaze.
No, he didn’t win his third major of the year yesterday in the PGA Championship; he was runner-up to an incredible performance by Jason Day.
Spieth showed, once again, how mature and humble he is, at the young age of 22. There he was on the 18th green at Whistling Straits, joining the gallery in applauding Day, who won his first major by three strokes over Spieth.
Oh, and the second-place finish only catapulted Spieth to the World No. 1 ranking, supplanting Rory McIlroy, who returned from ankle surgery in the PGA to finish 17th. And Spieth is only 71 tournaments into his pro career.
Spieth applauded because he has tremendous respect for Day and the game. Spieth also knew that he had not “lost” the PGA Championship; Day earned the win with one of the best tournament rounds of his life.
“This is as easy a loss as I’ve ever had because I felt that I not only couldn’t do much about it as the round went on, but I also accomplished one of my lifelong goals,” Spieth said. “That will never be taken away from me now. I’ll always be a No. 1 player in the world.”
It’s been quite a year for Spieth. Captain Obvious couldn’t say it better. He won his first Masters in April and the U.S. Open in June while finishing fourth in the British Open and second in the PGA. Spieth set a record for lowest cumulative total of strokes for one season in playing all four majors at 1,090 (Tiger Woods held the record with 1,095 strokes in 2000).
Add it all up and the number that comes up is one. No. 1 overall, that is.
Spieth continues to show why he’s one of the golfers that will help carry the sport into the next decade. He has made day two and three charges a habit in most tournaments, including a 7-under performance on Saturday to bring him within two shots of Day entering Sunday’s final round. Spieth went on to shoot 4-under yesterday but could not catch Day.
“It’s not easy. It takes a lot out of you,” Spieth said afterwards. “I’m tired right now. I mean, I left it all out there. I’m tired from the majors this year because of what it does. It really does wear you out mentally, trying to grind that much.
“And there’s a reason I have a receding hairline. It’s because I’ve got that kind of pressure building up and that kind of stress. As much of a thrill as it is, it can wear you down.”
Despite that, Spieth has plenty of reasons to feel pretty excited about his year (and his future). He’s also won some decent cash ($5,140,377) along the way. Spieth is the No. 1 player in the world, and proved it again by fighting to the very end in contention of winning the PGA Championship.
“It was fun waking up today, knowing I had another chance to win a major,” Spieth said. “You get all that blood running through your veins. Your mind just knows the position you’re in.”
Something tells me he’ll be waking up with that feeling many more times in his career.