Spieth: U.S. golf's new kid on the block
Updated On: Jul 16 2013 09:47:40 AM CDT
You might not have heard of him yet but you might well soon.
Jordan Spieth had thought he'd be back in school studying hard -- now he's on his way to compete against the world's best at the British Open.
The 19-year-old is ready to take on the world's best at Muirfield, Scotland after becoming the youngest winner on the PGA Tour in 82 years following his success at the John Deere Classic Sunday.
Spieth, who turns 20 in a fortnight, won a fifth hole playoff to see off David Hearn and former Masters champion Zach Johnson.
The U.S. star is the first teenager to win a PGA title since Ralph Guldhal won the Santa Monica Open in 1931.
"A year ago we had just won a national championship, and I thought I'd be back at school right now," he told reporters after being informed that Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy all had to wait until the age of 20 to win their first PGA event.
"I had a plan. I guess the plan got exceeded.
"I wanted to just earn my Tour card for next year this year somehow.
"Now to be able to have it for a couple of years and to be able to have an exemption to Augusta (and) all the stuff that comes with it.
"It hasn't hit me yet, and it will, but I'm just happy to go compete with those guys mentioned."
Only last April, Chinese teenager Guan Tianlang made history after making the cut at The Masters at the age of 14 years and five months.
But age is not a factor for Spieth -- not in his mind anyway.
"I don't think of my age as my age," he added.
"I just think of playing and competing with these guys as my peers. The guys in this event, each week, week to week, I don't think of myself as younger than them."
His success has fired him up to 59th in the world rankings, while he has also secured invitations to The Open, the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational, PGA Championship, next year's Hyundai Tournament of Champions and the Masters.
A check for $820,000 came following a tense putt at the 18th green on the fifth hole of a playoff much to his delight as he booked his place at Muirfield.
He added: "I just got so lucky. That's what it is. But right now I'm extremely pleased, and a little worried about only having short sleeves going to Scotland."
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