The recently completed Open Championship at Royal Birkdale still has me shaking my head in amazement.
The drama of the last hour of the tournament served as a fitting example of why the game of golf is the most extraordinary game on earth.
Do you remember back in March when the entire golfing world was convinced that Dustin Johnson was the new dominant player on tour?
And just last month, Brooks Koepka emerged as a new superstar with his somewhat surprising victory in the U.S. Open.
But wait, we can’t forget about Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Rickie Fowler. Nope, this tournament re-aligned the stars in the galaxy and made it clear that the man everybody is chasing is still Jordan Spieth.
He is unflappable, and the emotions he displays on the golf course makes for terrific theater.
I wasn’t home to watch the entire final round of the tournament. However, I had it recorded in case I missed one of those great moments in championship golf.
Low and behold, I returned home and tuned in as Spieth drained a long birdie putt on the 16th hole to take a two-shot lead. No real surprise, I thought, considering he had a three-shot lead to begin the day.
What I didn’t realize at the time, was that just two holes earlier he was trailing Matt Kuchar by a stroke. A birdie on the 17th hole all but wrapped up the tournament, and he went on to cruise to a comfortable three-stroke victory.
Golfers aren’t typically thought of as being tough, especially those as clean cut and friendly as Spieth. But make no mistake about it, Spieth is tough as nails.
Many of you may remember his collapse in the 2016 Masters.
Beginning the back nine with a large lead, Spieth went bogey-bogey-quadruple bogey to essentially lose the tournament right then to eventual winner Danny Willet.
As he stood on the 14th tee in the final round of the Open Championship, Spieth was four-over par for his final round, and the Masters collapse of 2016 had to be looming large in his head.
It wasn’t, and that is why Spieth deserves a huge amount of respect for winning this championship.
He is a fighter, a competitor, and champion, and an all-around nice guy.
For those of you with young sons who are learning to play this wonderful game, do yourselves a favor and introduce them to Spieth.
He is a champion in every sense of the word.