There was much to chew on with Jordan Spieth's sporadic final round capped off by another memorable hole-out in sudden death over Daniel Berger. The Tiger comparisons are rolling in because we are already (amazingly) left to consider Spieth's 10th PGA Tour win (and with two majors he's a HOF lock).
Brian Wacker carefully made those comparisons at Golf World.
This is not a comparison to Woods, who had 15 wins by age 24, as much as it as an appreciation for Spieth’s achievement, and the memorable moments that he has compiled along the way. It started at the 2013 John Deere Classic, where he holed a bunker shot on the 72nd hole to reach a three-way playoff that he eventually won on the fifth extra hole, and concluded with his holed-out birdie bunker shot in a playoff to cap his latest wire-to-wire victory. In between came Spieth’s impressive 2015 season, in which he got nearly three-quarters of the way to the calendar Grand Slam.
“I am not comparing Jordan to Tiger at all, zero,” said good friend Ryan Palmer, who watched the finish in the clubhouse at TPC River Highlands and then from behind the 18th green as he waited to hitch a ride back to Dallas with the eventual champion. “But he has that mentality to do that kind of stuff.
The SI/Golf.com gang kick around the Tiger element in this week's Confidential...
Jeff Ritter, digital development editor, Sports Illustrated Golf Group (@Jeff_Ritter): Tiger absolutely shattered the scale by which all current Tour careers are measured. Spieth may not be on a Tiger-like winning pace, but as I learned today on Twitter, his career arc so far is Mickelsonian. And Phil never had a 73rd-hole celebration like Jordan on Sunday. Not too shabby.
Michael Bamberger, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: Tiger's personality added to his career to create an aura of Worldwide Golfing Dominance. Plus, Tiger won with a power game. It just looked more dominating. But 10 is 10—incredible, really.
The round highlights:
The Travelers is always fun at TPC River Highlands, but the combination of leaderboard, field and venue's ability to create excitement made today a long overdue reward for some of the hardest working folks in tournament golf. Couple in how great the latest renovation looked along with the golden natives contrasting with green turf, and it was off-the-charts visual eye candy.
And Spieth, like Tiger, brings out a certain adrenaline in observers. Still, I thought some of the comparisons to Erin Hills were unfair given different pars (70 vs. 72) making it easier to post lower red numbers. Nor would ever discourage anyone from bemoaning the scale of a 7,800 yard course versus the more intimate setting in Connecticut...
U.S. Open: 7,741 yards, -16 winning score— Jason Sobel (@JasonSobelESPN) June 26, 2017
Travelers: 6,841 yards, -12 winning score
Majors are nice, but not everything. Better crowds & better drama @ Travelers than U.S. Open. Spieth grows the legend. That was Tiger-like.— Rich Lerner (@RichLernerGC) June 25, 2017
Love that -12 won this week on a 6850 yard course, last week at Erin Hills 7650 yards & -16 wins. Making courses long isn't the answer!— Luke Donald (@LukeDonald) June 25, 2017
There is little question that the scale of this week's venue versus Erin Hills created more realistic golf, better spectating and more energy at the end when fans were on top of the action.
Imagine if the scale were even a little more condensed, just how much more democratic and energetic we could have things? And how many fun courses we could play tournaments at again?
Does this mean we all agree to a distance rollback for the pros? Maybe variably, depending on the course?
Whew, that was easy!