Spieth keeps Grand Slam dream alive

US Open winner can become first player to win all four majors in one year

June 22, 2015
Spieth’s meteoric rise has propelled the 21-year-old within 1.71 points of Rory McIlroy at the top of the world rankings. PHOTO: AFP

TACOMA: Two down and two to go — and Jordan Spieth believes that an unprecedented clean sweep of golf’s four majors in the same year is possible.

The greats of the game — Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Tiger Woods — have all tried and failed to achieve that feat.

Spieth though has now put himself in that Grand Slam position by winning the US Open in thrilling style at Chambers Bay on Sunday two months after lifting his first major at the Masters.

It’s a mouth-watering prospect which will take him to St. Andrews for the British Open next month and to Whistling Straits in Wisconsin for the PGA Championship in August.

It’s a prospect that 21-year-old Spieth has clearly considered, but he does not want to get too far ahead of himself. “I think it’s in the realm of possibility,” he said shortly after his US Open win. “I think that the Grand Slam is something that I never could really fathom somebody doing.”

For now, the Texan is fully focussed on the challenge ahead. “I’m just focused on the Claret Jug [British Open] now,” he said. “I’ve proven to myself that I can win on a British-style golf course. Now I take it to the truest British-style course in the world.”

Spieth’s two wins mean that the four golfing majors are now held by just two men — himself and 26-year-old Rory McIlroy who won the British Open and PGA Championship last year. However, Spieth says he does not yet consider himself to be in the same league as the Northern Irishman. “It’s awesome that the game is in young hands,” he said. “[But] I don’t think there is much of a rivalry. McIlroy has four majors and dozens of wins, and I’m just starting out.”

First up for Spieth will be his preparations for St. Andrews, a course he has played only once before, but which, like many of his peers, he holds in great reverence. “I’ve played one round on St. Andrews, and it was when we were playing in the Walker Cup at Royal Aberdeen and we went as a team to visit St. Andrews first. I remember walking around the clubhouse. It’s one of my favourite places in the world.”

Published in The Express Tribune, June 23rd, 2015.

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