Jordan Spieth duly added the 2015 US Open Golf title to his Masters victory at Augusta just a few months earlier to maintain his hopes of winning the golfing grand slam this year, but his win this weekend at the controversial Chambers Bay course disguises a discouraging and sad performance by Tiger Woods and a thrilling finish to the contest during which Dustin Johnson could have claimed victory but for a final hole calamity.
The Emergence of Spieth as a genuine contender to win the grand slam is in stark contrast to the demise of Tiger Woods who has now become a shadow of the player threatening to eclipse the record of Jack Nicklaus who won 18 grand slam tournaments. Woods could not excuse the Chambers Bay greens, which were the subject of much criticism, as he slumped to an opening round score of 80 before eventually missing the cut after another poor second round. However, it may just be the case that injuries and complicated personal life over the past few years have now rendered Woods as unable to compete at the highest level which would be a sad ending for a player who was once dominant on the World golfing scene.
No such problems exist for Jordan Spieth who at nearly 22 years of age appears set to complete several more major victories with his level-headed approach to golf. Rory McIlroy may still offer a challenge to Spieth in future tournaments despite just failing to maintain contact with the leading competitors at Chambers Bay where Dustin Johnson and Louis Oosthuizen offered the main threat to the eventual winner.
But for an agonising three putted attempt on the final green, Johnson may have been celebrating a US Open victory especially as the final three holes produced successive turnaround in fortunes for the three leading protagonists.
Spieth had assumed a one stroke lead at the 16th hole only to surrender his advantage as both Oosterhuizen and Johnson levelled the scores to provide an intriguing finish to the tournament. With Spieth claiming a birdie on the 18th hole, Johnson was offered the opportunity to earn outright victory with a 12 foot eagle putt. A playoff appeared inevitable when the Johnson effort rolled past the hole but his missed birdie attempt from just four feet drew criticism from several members of the watching public with accusations that he was unable to cope with the final green pressure.
Not that Spieth was joining in the negative opinions directed towards his compatriot as he celebrated his first ever US Open victory. He may have enjoyed some good fortune with this last green success but now expectations will grow as he faces his next grand slam event at St Andrews in Scotland next month at the British Open.
Jordan Spieth will the subject of much media interest at St Andrews and his ability to cope with that pressure will be tested, whereas for Tiger Woods, his demise this week must not only seriously threaten his participation at the event, but also his ability to attract the spectators in a major golf tournament.
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