By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
Jordan Spieth is foregoing his final two years at the University of Texas to turn pro, he announced on Friday.
The 19-year-old was a first team All-American, helping the Longhorns to a national championship this year, and was named the Big 12 Conference Player of the Year. A year after receiving Freshman of the Year honors, he was one of three finalists for the 2012 Ben Hogan Award, presented annually to the nation's top amateur golfer.
Spieth is one of only two players — Tiger Woods is the other — to have won multiple U.S. Junior Amateur titles, which he did in 2009 and 2011. He also reached No. 1 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings earlier this year before ending the season at No. 8.
"The decision to turn pro was a difficult one, but I'm looking forward to the challenge of competing at the highest level and accomplishing the many goals I've set for myself on and off the course," Spieth said in a statement. "I owe everything I've achieved thus far to the support of my family, friends, teammates, and the University of Texas. While I'm proud of what my teammates and I have accomplished, I couldn't be more excited to fulfill my lifelong dream of becoming a professional golfer. "
In eight starts on the PGA TOUR as an amateur, Spieth made the cut five times, finishing in the top 25 twice. His best result was a tie for 16th at the 2010 HP Byron Nelson Championship, where he became the sixth-youngest player to make the cut in a TOUR event and was tied for seventh heading into the final round.
He was also the low amateur at this year’s U.S. Open at The Olympic Club, where he tied for 21st.
Spieth made one start on the Web.com Tour, tying for 44th at the Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational earlier this year.
As an amateur, he was a standout member of the 2011 U.S. Walker Cup team. Though the U.S. lost to Great Britain & Ireland, Spieth did his part, winning a pair of singles matches and halving a foursomes match.
As a freshman at Texas, he won three events and led the team in scoring average.