Can Jordan Spieth, the winner of the Masters, be the new face of American golf?
Spieth isn’t only a great golfer, he’s grounded. Before Spieth, had any golfer in the history of the Masters, after donning the green jacket in victory, ever thanked the Augusta volunteers for their efforts in staging the tournament?
Spieth also thanked Augusta’s “patrons” after winning the tournament. The kid made his parents proud — probably more for his graciousness in winning than the win itself.
And then there’s Spieth’s confidence. He showed up to the Masters with a plan to win the tournament. He even said so. But his confidence could never be mistaken for cockiness. He was locked in and focused from wire to wire.
Seriously, Spieth made a lot of 30, 40 and even 50-something males look bad with his self-assured demeanor. And never did it border on swagger.
Could Spieth be the role-model athlete that young kids could latch onto? Could Spieth help grow the game, much like Tiger Woods did in the 1990s? Could he redefine the coolness factor in all of sports — that it’s cool to be gracious and humble.
Spieth is extremely likable. But is that a drawback? Are golf fans more attracted to a villain-like character, like Tiger has turned out to be?
On Tiger: He turned in a decent performance at Augusta National, but he’s not “back” as some want to believe. He was never in contention for the tournament and never made a run. He was a very quiet cat on Sunday, which is uncharacteristic of the Tiger we’ve come to expect in Major tournaments.
I’m rooting for Spieth, who doesn’t seem like he’ll let the success and hype go to his head. If only we could look into the future 20 years and see what becomes of him.