By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
ATLANTA -- Considering what his goal was as the start of the year -- just to secure a PGA TOUR card for next season -- and where he came from -- zero status on any tour -- Jordan Spieth could be just happy to be here.
Finishing in the top 30 in the FedExCup standings has its priveleges: In Spieth's case guaranteed spots in the U.S. Open and British Open, and a guaranteed paycheck.
But Spieth doesn't play for the paychecks or moral victories.
"I've said it since I was 16 back in Dallas," he said. "You're in a tournament, if you're not playing to win, what are you playing for?"
This week, a lot.
Spieth, 13th in the FedExCup standings coming into the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola, opened with a 2-under 68 and is just four strokes off the lead in his first trip to East Lake.
Only three players have ever won in their first appearance here. Who's to say the 20-year-old can't be the fourth?
He made a half-dozen birdies in the opening round, most of them the result of some impressive ball-striking.
All that held him back were four bogeys, including a couple of sloppy ones on the first and ninth holes.
"I'd like to be a little smarter into the greens," he said. "Part of it was a few tee balls that were not in the right position, but overall I had good looks into the greens."
And the rest of us are getting a good look at the future of American golf.
Eight times this season Spieth has finished in the top 10 with half of those finishes in the top 5, including a playoff win.
In the Playoffs, he has yet to finish outside the top 20, which included a fourth-place at the Deutsche Bank Championship, where he shot a final-round 62.
He'll also play in his first Presidents Cup in two weeks after being picked by captain Fred Couples.
"What (the experience) did is I felt how much pressure there was when competing on Sunday," Speith said of the experience. "I also saw that I was able to make birdies when I felt the pressure.
"It was the first step in the direction where maybe a shorter path to get on TOUR than I had envisioned."
And it's only the beginning.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
ATLANTA -- At the beginning of the year, Jordan Spieth's goal was to earn his PGA TOUR card for next season, something he figured he'd accomplish through the Web.com Tour.
Needless to say the 20-year-old has exceded even his own expectations.
Spieth is the lone rookie in the field this week at the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola, where he comes in 13th in the FedExCup standings and with the very real possibility of becoming the first rookie to win the FedExCup.
"It turned out better than I could have expected," Spieth said. "And then to get the call from Freddy (Couples) was a dream come true. I never thought about the Presidents Cup this year."
Through his first three Playoffs events, Spieth hasn't finished outside the top 20, which included a fourth-place finish at the Deutsche Bank Championship.
This is Spieth's first time playing East Lake but the way the rest of his year has gone, it might not matter. He has eight top 10s this season with half of them, including a win, coming since mid-June.
That's not to suggest Spieth still isn't adjusting to life on TOUR.
When he showed up at the course on Tuesday, there were only two players on the driving range. Then it dawned on Spieth that there are only 30 in the entire field.
"I couldn't see anybody on the golf course," he said. "I guess that's just how it is this week."
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Halfway through the FedExCup Playoffs, just two rookies remain alive -- Jordan Spieth and Russell Henley, both of whom are in the 70-man field this week at the BMW Championship.
Spieth, who enters the tournament 10th in FedExCup points, is assured of being in the 30-man field at next week's Playoffs finale, the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola.
Henley is 43rd in points, which puts him outside the bubble and means he must play well this week to move inside it.
Spieth, Henley and Derek Ernst are the only rookies who have won PGA TOUR events this year, which means the Rookie of the Year voting likely comes down to those three.
If recent history is any indication, Spieth certainly has the inside track.
Just five rookies have advanced to the TOUR Championship in the first six years of the FedExCup Playoffs -- and each of those players ended up winning Rookie of the Year. (The only year in which no rookie reached the TOUR Championship was 2010, with Rickie Fowler finishing two spots outside the bubble but still winning Rookie of the Year honors).
Spieth, who turned 20 years old on July 27, is on track to become the youngest player to compete in the TOUR Championship. Tiger Woods was 20 years, 9 months, 27 days old when he competed in his first TOUR Championship in 1996.
ROOKIES WHO ADVANCED TO TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP IN FEDEXCUP ERA
|Year||Player||Final FedExCup finish||Rookie of Year?|
By Fred Albers, PGATOUR.COM Insider
What was the moment of validation for Jordan Spieth?
Was it the phone call from Fred Couples telling him he was on The Presidents Cup team? Maybe it was the formal announcement Wednesday during the televised news conference when the world was informed Spieth was a Captain’s pick. Or was it his victory in the John Deere Classic? Or the 62 he shot in the final round of Deutsche Bank Championship on Monday?
All of those have to be “red-letter” days in the golfing career of Spieth but there have been other less publicized moments.
As Tiger Woods was about to begin his post-round presser following the second round of the Deutsche Bank Championship, Spieth walked by after his own press conference was finished. Woods made a point to walk over to the 20-year-old Texan and congratulate him on his round and play this year.
How cool is that?
Spieth is just a couple years removed from high school and here’s the world’s No. 1 ranked player complimenting your game.
There was another moment at last week’s Deutsche Bank Championship.
Phil Mickelson took Spieth aside and asked if he would like to play a practice round together at next week's BMW Championship. That’s an invitation that only goes out to special players with promise. Golfers like Keegan Bradley, Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler are part of that posse; part of the future of American golf.
Jordan Spieth is now part of that group. On Wednesday, he officially became part of The Presidents Cup.
The Presidents Cup Captain's Picks are in.
Webb Simpson and Jordan Spieth are the two picks by Fred Couples for the U.S. team.
Marc Leishman of Australia and Brendon de Jonge of Zimbabwe are the picks by Nick Price for the International team.
Jim Furyk and Dustin Johnson did not make the U.S. team. Tim Clark and Geoff Ogilvy were among the International players who were not picked.
What do you think of the picks by Couples and Price? Join the discussion.
WEDNESDAY'S COVERAGE OF CAPTAIN'S PICKS
The four Captain's Picks for this year's Presidents Cup will be announced at 2 p.m. ET Wednesday, Sept. 4, on the Golf Channel. At 2:20 p.m. ET, PGATOUR.COM will carry a live audio stream of the two captains and the picks discussing the choices.
U.S. captain Fred Couples and International captain Nick Price will each select two players to complete their 12-man rosters for their respective Presidents Cup teams. The selections will be announced at 2 p.m. ET on Wednesday.Ten players earned spots on each team through points rankings, which closed Monday.
Who do you think the captains should select? Below is a chart listing the statistics of some of the captains' top choices. Will Couples choose two veterans, or will he take 20-year-old Jordan Spieth? Or will Couples give a spot to Webb Simpson, who was bumped from the team at the 11th hour? Five of Price's 10 team members are rookies? Will he choose players in good form, or try to fill his roster with veterans? Leave your opinion in the comments below.
|11. Webb Simpson||20||25||23||0||1||0||4||T-53|
|12. Dustin Johnson||23||23||20||1||1||0||5||T-27|
|13. Jim Furyk||15||15||20||0||1||1||6||T-27|
|22. Jordan Spieth||10||28||21||1||2||0||8||T-4|
|11. Thongchai Jaidee||N/A||58||18*||0||1||1||5||DNP|
|12. Marc Leishman||58||59||22||0||0||0||4||T-16|
|13. Tim Clark||80||60||20||0||1||0||3||MC|
|14. Brendon de Jonge||26||70||28||0||0||0||4||T-9|
|18. Geoff Ogilvy||104||94||19||0||1||0||1||DNP|
|22. K.J. Choi||73||106||24||0||0||0||2||T-41|
Note: players listed by ranking in team points; DBC finish is finish at Deutsche Bank Championship; *-European Tour events.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
NORTON, Mass. -- On Monday, Jordan Spieth became the first player since Tiger Woods in 1996 to go from no status on any tour all the way to the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola.
"It's been above and beyond what I could have imagined this year," said Spieth, who shot a career-low 62 Monday to finish at 17 under at the Deutsche Bank Championship.
Spieth, who earlier this season became the first teenager in more than 80 years to win on the PGA TOUR, closed out his week at TPC Boston in style, making three straight birdies followed by an eagle on the par-5 18th.
"I've never finished birdie, birdie, birdie, eagle before," he said. "It's definitely the best round I've ever played in my life."
And just the latest example of a bright future for the 20-year-old Texan.
He already had seven top 10s, including a pair of runner-up finishes, coming into this week. He was tied for second when he finished his round here.
It was also the 11th time this season that Spieth has carded a 66 or better this season. Comparitively, Woods has had just six -- albeit on tougher courses and in fewer starts.
Spieth, who said his goal at the start of the year was just to be able to play the Web.com Tour, should garner plenty of attention as a possible captain's pick for the Presidents Cup.
First, he'll set his sights on East Lake.
"I think, for anybody, (winning the FedExCup) is a top goal," Spieth said. "It's a farfetched goal of mine. I just really want to be in the top five going into the TOUR Championship.
"In my mind it's a little easier to beat 30 guys rather than 130 guys."
NORTON, Mass. -- Jordan Spieth has given everyone else a target after firing a final-round 62 that moved him into a tie for second at 17 under.
Spieth played his final four holes in 5 under, capping the surge with a 24-footer for eagle at the 18th hole. The 20-year-old phenom made seven birdies and an eagle while dropping no shots to par as he tied for the low round of the tournament.
Henrik Stenson leads at 19 under and has played seven holes. Spieth, who won the John Deere Classic two months ago, is now tied with Steve Stricker, Jason Dufner and Roberto Castro, who are through eight holes, and overnight leader Sergio Garcia.