Well it looks like Jordan Spieth is turning up the jets early this season. Spieth went out and shot 68 in terrible conditions on the first day at AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-AM and followed that up with a second round 65. Those two rounds should have been all anyone needed to see to get a picture of where Spieth’s game currently is, but he added to that on Saturday with another 65 and took over the top spot on the leaderboard heading into Sunday.
Spieth, who last won at the Dean and Deluca Invitational in May of 2016, has finished no worse than a tie for ninth this season and on Sunday at Pebble he did all he needed to do to secure his first PGA Tour win in the state of California with a final round 70.
After collecting his ninth PGA Tour win, Spieth said, “This is a bucket list place to win. Here, Augusta National, St. Andrews, I mean there’s only a few in the world, it feels really special, it was amazing walking up the 18th green knowing that we were going to win. It’s just such a unique position; I tried to soak it in.”
The 23-year-old who has now played in 100 PGA Tour events not only has nine wins on Tour, but has finished runner up 10 times and has 44 top-10s. He’s also won more than 28 million dollars in PGA Tour money. To put that into perspective, Sergio Garcia secured his ninth PGA Tour win last season after 292 events and 17 years as a PGA Tour professional.
If that doesn’t give you an idea of just how good Spieth has been, here are a few more stats compiled by Golf Channel’s Justin Ray:
- Spieth is the youngest player in PGA Tour history to win five times by three or more shots.
- He is the second youngest player at 23 years and 6 months old, behind only Tiger Woods (23 years 5 months), since World War 2 to win nine times on the PGA Tour.
- His nine PGA Tour wins since the beginning of 2013 are tied with Jason Day for the most over that time.
- He has won seven of the last eight times he was leading entering the final round of a tournament; the only loss was the Masters in 2016.
- Spieth won by four shots in his 100th PGA Tour start and Tiger Woods won by seven shots in his 100th event.
That’s pretty impressive.
Kyle Porter of CBS compiled a graph showing Tiger’s first 100 tournaments and wins versus Spieth’s and the results are staggering.
While the win did move Spieth, who is currently ranked sixth in the world rankings, closer to the top five, he still slightly trails Hideki Matsuyama who won last week at the Phoenix Open.
The early season win, there’s only one more tournament in the West coast swing, the Genesis Open in which Spieth is entered, for him ahead of the Masters:
“Even though I finished third, third, ninth the last few, didn’t have a chance to win them, they were coming from behind. This time, yesterday to be tied for the lead through two rounds and go out and shoot the round we did yesterday while feeling kind of the Saturday moving day pressure of extending a lead was really special. I can draw a lot off of that. Certainly, as we go into Riviera, and then move closer to the Masters and the Texas events, I’m going to be looking to get into contention again. The more times you can do it, the easier, the more natural it feels.”
In his five events, including the Hero World Challenge, this season, Spieth has finished: tied for sixth, tied for third, third, tied for ninth, and first.
Next up is that Genesis Open start, which will feature a stacked field with two other top 10 players (Hideki Matsuyama, Sergio Garcia) who won in their last start. Also in the field for next week’s event is world number one Jason Day, world number seven Adam Scott, world number eight Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Matt Kuchar, Jimmy Walker, Phil Mickelson, and defending champions Bubba Watson, James Hahn, John Merrick, Bill Haas, Aaron Baddeley, Steve Stricker and Charles Howell III.
– I picked Dustin Johnson to win, he finished third, and I mentioned that if he didn’t that Brandt Snedeker would be someone to keep an eye on; he finished fourth, so I hope you had them in your fantasy lineups.
– The Pro-Am portion of the event is horrible. Thursday through Saturday we are subjected to terrible shots not from PGA Tour players, but from celebrities like Bill Murray and billionaires who no one cares to see hit a golf ball while guys like Spieth and Johnson are at the top of the leaderboard. This has got to change.