Spieth Triumph Brings America A Champion With International Appeal

Posted: April 15, 2015 in Golf
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Spieth Green Jacket

Spieth celebrates winning his maiden Masters title.

The end of the US Masters golf tournament was strange in a way, in that it was so anti-climactic.

At no point during the final day of four was there any real challenge to the leadership, with Jordan Spieth never being any less than three shots in the lead as he romped home to joint-record score to claim the famous green jacket.

In previous years the tournament has so often been closely contested, with two of the last three years seeing it go down to a play-off, while leaders going into the day have all too often been seen to crack under the pressure and slide down the leaderboard.

Rory McIlroy is one of those who has buckled under the pressure in previous years and the world was watching to see if he could complete his collection of Grand Slams, with all other competitors often being viewed as afterthoughts in a sport dominated by two personalities; the golden boy from Northern Ireland and struggling former champion, Tiger Woods.

By the end however, despite respectable scores on behalf of those two, the world was talking about one person and one person only, with Spieth producing a stunning four days of golf to equal the record of 18 under par; a record set by the emerging Woods back in 1997, prior to a decade of dominance of golf.

That a bogey on the final hole ensured that Spieth merely equalled it as opposed to beating it shows exactly how impressive the Texan was in his tournament, given the level of competition he actually had to deal with.

Both Justin Rose and Phil Mickelson posted scores over the four days that would have seen them claim the green jacket in ten of the last 13 tournaments, while securing a play-off in one further, so for Spieth to still record such a comprehensive victory speaks volumes, as he led from the very first day and never even looked like relinquishing that stranglehold.

There was nobody willing to begrudge Spieth his victory after that performance and there were no character assassinations either, in a sport that is so very individual that egos are aplenty.

Spieth & McIlroy

Spieth in meeting with rival McIlroy

Woods’ various indiscretions are well-documented, while McIlroy still has those comments in regards to the Ryder Cup held against him in certain parties, with his upturn in form after calling off his engagement to tennis player Caroline Wozniacki further enhancing his reputation of no working well with others.

Mickelson has always had an aura of arrogance about him in everything that he has done, while in recent years, it has become hard for anyone outside of the United States to really take to a champion named ‘Bubba’ without doing poor impressions of Forrest Gump.

America’s issue is that it has frequently bred bad winners, with success and fame seeming to go to their heads quicker than many other nations and arrogance seeming to set in quickly.

In golf it can be understandable, as confidence will always be required in a game that largely revolves around the individual, but it makes it hard for the average man on the street to really take to any competitor other than basing it purely on national pride.

With the old saying claiming that ‘everything is bigger in Texas’ suggesting the egos there would also be amplified, it would only be natural to expect a champion from the Lone Star State to have a slightly obnoxious air about them in victory.

Yet in Spieth, America now has a champion that holds appeal throughout the world of golf, with his humble attitude and cool demeanour making him instantly likeable to viewers.

This was not some outside-shot who somehow defied the odds this one time and may well disappear altogether. Spieth was a runner up last year as Bubba Watson won the green jacket, has four titles to his name already and has been a top ten finisher in ten of his last 16 major tournaments.

Yet there was no expectation that his time would come and the 21-year-old was still in a state of shock when he holed his final putt to seal the victory, despite having held a healthy lead throughout the four days in Augusta.

Spieth celebrates

Spieth celebrates another birdie

There were no gestures to the crowd as he walked through the course on Sunday, despite having consistently been able to enjoy a comfortable position at the top, having recorded a record number of birdies in the process of his triumph, sinking 28 overall..

His post-victory speech was one of absolute humility, with an almost childlike acknowledgement that it was ‘cool’ to share it with his on-looking family and essentially giving the vast majority of the credit to his coach, while he also admitted to having endured a fairly sleepless night prior to staring his final round.

There is already being plenty more predicted to come from the 21-year-old Spieth, who will have to put up with the pressure that will inevitably come with winning his first major tournament at the same age of Woods, and this will be the real test of his personality.

But for the time being, we can actually enjoy celebrating an American and golfing champion who does not appear to have any grating personality flaws and still seems enamoured with just playing the game in blissful ignorance of the side effects of success.


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