Open win adds to Jordan Spieth's crazy career accomplishments


Jordan Spieth produced an incredible record-breaking final five holes to turn around what looked like a Sunday collapse into a worthy Open championship victory.

And it's a win that we should be careful not to understate. The mental grit shown by Spieth is a huge reason why the things he's already accomplished in his career at such a young age have already brought about inevitable comparisons with the all-time greats of the game.

Winning three majors certainly doesn't compare to the 18 of Jack Nicklaus or the 14 of Tiger Woods, but when you take a closer took at the records he's already broken and compare his achievements to the age they were when completing theirs - it shouldn't really be a surprise that he's talked about in this way.

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On the seventh tee box at Royal Birkdale, Spieth's caddie Michael Greller turned to his boss and said "Do you remember that group you were with in Cabo last week. You belong in that group'

At that moment he was three-over after four holes on Sunday, and it couldn't have been better-timed. The picture he was referring to was not of golfers, but of Spieth alongside Michael Phelps and Michael Jordan, legends of their own respective sports. 

Greller told him, "You're that caliber of an athlete. But I need you to believe that right now because you're in a great position in this tournament."

It definitely shifted Spieth's mind-set. He birdied that same hole, and although he still made bogey at 9 and that now infanmous moment on the driving range at 13 - Spieth truly showed the mental strength displayed by those fellow sporting champions in that picture on his back nine to put past demons aside and turn a hopeless round into a victory.

And while Spieth said that Greller's motivational talk helped him regain his focus, he admits that when it comes to comparisons of his game against others in his own sport - he doesn't particularly welcome them.

"I feel blessed to be able to play the game I love, but I don't compare myself," Spieth said following his Open win. "And I don't think they're appropriate or necessary. So to be in that company, no doubt is absolutely incredible. And I certainly appreciate it."

"But I'm very careful as to what that means going forward because what those guys have done has transcended the sport. And in no way, shape or form do I think I'm anywhere near that, whatsever. So it's a good start, but there is a long way to go."

But although Jordan thinks they aren't necessary, they are definitely hard to ignore. Here is everything he has accomplished so far in his career (in the order they happened)

1. With his first PGA Tour win at the 2013 John Deere Classic when he was just 19 years old, he became the youngest winner on Tour in 83 years: He also was the first teenager to win since Ralph Guldahl took the Santa Monica Open in 1931.

2. Becomes second youngest player in history to win the Masters behind Tiger Woods

3. Sets 36-hole, 54-hole scoring records during his Masters victory in 2015: He tied the 72 hole scoring record with Tiger Woods at 18-under-par thanks to a final hole bogey, but he still lifted his maiden major trophy.

4. Wins at Chambers Bay by five-shots to become the youngest U.S. Open champion since amateur Bobby Jones in 1923

5. Youngest winner of the Masters and US Open: When Spieth won at both Augusta and Chambers Bay in 2015, he became the youngest to win multiple majors since Gene Sarazen in 1922 and the first player since Tiger Woods in 2002 to win the Masters and US Open in the same year.

6. Youngest player (in 2015) to win the FedEx Cup

7. Second youngest player to win 10 times on the PGA Tour: With two victories at Pebble Beach and the Travelers Championship in 2017 before his Open start, Spieth became the second-youngest pro to the accolade, sandwiched between Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus.

8. The youngest American in history to win The Open: Walter Hagen because the first American winner of The Open in 1922,  and since then there have been 29 winners to hail from the USA, but at just 23 years old Jordan Spieth has become the youngest. 

9. The youngest winner of the Open since Seve Ballesteros (22) in 1979. 

10. Spieth broke several lowest scoring records at Royal Birkdale: On his way to victory, Spieth tied the lowest 36 hole total set at Royal Birkdale in an Open, before breaking both the 54-hole total and the 72-hole total. He had a score of 268, which was four better than the winning score set by Ian Baker-Finch at Birkdale in 1991 (two years before Spieth was born).

11. Spieth became the fifth player to win The Open with four rounds in the 60s (and his first time doing so in a major championship): The other four players were Greg Norman (1983), Nick Price (1994), Tiger Woods (2000) and Henrik Stenson (2016). 

12. Jordan Spieth has now become one of only 16 players to have ever won three legs of a grand-slam: Five of those have gone on to win the grand-slam, and Jordan has a lot of time to become the sixth.

13. Spieth is second fastest winner to three majors, completing the hatrick in just 18 major starts: Jack Nicklaus did it in his 16th major at the 1963 PGA Championship while Byron Nelson also did it in his 18th major at the 1940 PGA Championship. After that, Tiger Woods and Gary Player won their third leg in their 20th major, Arnold Palmer (who only won three, never capturing the PGA Championship) did it in his 21st major, and Rory McIlroy (also still in search of the final leg) needed 23rd majors.

14. He's on the way to breaking Tiger's grand-slam record: Completing the third leg of the grand-slam by the age of 23, Jordan has a chance in a few weeks time to become the youngest player in history to achieve the career grand slam. Woods had won all four majors when he was 24, but with Spieth's 24th birthday next week - he has a chance (albeit unlikely) to go one better.