Jack Nicklaus on Jordan Spieth: “It was a great display of guts, determination and skill”

Mike Murphy

Only two men in the history of golf have completed three legs of the career Grand Slam before the age of 24. Jordan Spieth joined Jack Nicklaus in that elite pairing following his Open Championship victory at Royal Birkdale on Sunday. 

Before the Golden Bear turned 24 he had eight victories on the tour, Spieth has 11 and doesn’t appear to be stopping anytime soon. Jordan Spieth’s Open victory was a great display of guts, determination and skill,” Nicklaus said on his website. “This was very enjoyable to watch.”

Golfers who have completed the Grand Slam:

The all-time leader in Major victories was astonished by the moxie Spieth possessed after enduring four bogeys on the front nine and climbing in a hole most golfers wouldn’t get out of. Nicklaus included himself in that bunch, humbly.

“Jordan semi had the wheels coming off on 13 with that tee shot,” Nicklaus said. “And while it did take him a long time between the tee shot and the next shot, Jordan figured out what to do. I don’t know if I would have figured out to go over to the driving range for that shot.

“I believe Jordan’s bogey at the 13th hole today was the key to his round. He made that putt and all of a sudden he turned it on. It was as if he said, “’Hey, I’ve let this thing get away from me. I’ve got to get back to work.’ Then he went boom, boom, boom…. To follow up that bogey on 13 with great golf shots and great putts, and play the final five holes in five under par, I was just very happy for him and very impressed to watch all that guts, determination and skill.”

Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods are considered No.1 and No.2 in golf’s history, but could we see Spieth joining that group by the end of his career? By age 24 Woods had only two Major victories to his name. He did make up for that winning 10 of his 14 Major victories before he turned 30.

Spieth would have to consistently win Majors over the next six years to keep pace with Tiger, or he could spread them out like Nicklaus who won seven in his 20’s, eight in his 30’s, and three in his 40’s.

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