When you break down the career Grand Slam winners and the many legends who have won three of four legs, the opportunity facing Jordan Spieth becomes impressive.
Mention that he can do this at a younger age than Woods and Nicklaus and it becomes, as Jim Nantz noted in the piece I wrote for Golfweek, one of the great accomplishments in the history of the game.
Jaime Diaz assesses where this feat would fall in the game's history and notes that Grand Slam is not a perfect measure of greatness.
Walter Hagen, who won 11 major championships, didn’t have a real shot at what evolved into the Grand Slam because the Masters wasn’t even played until he was well past his prime. And what of Bobby Jones’ “original” Grand Slam in 1930, winning the U.S. Open and Amateur and their British counterparts in one year, which has never been replicated by any golfer over an entire career? That feat, or the still unattained the calendar professional Grand Slam, or even the Tiger Slam of 2000-’01, would all have to be more exalted than the career Grand Slam.
Ryan Lavner reminds us that Tiger Woods, the last in the modern era to achieve the feat, didn't have much time to ponder the possibilties but pulled off the slam in his first try.
Not only was Woods, at 24, the youngest to win the career Grand Slam, but he was the fastest, too – needing only 93 starts, compared with Nicklaus’ 125.
“They’ve been the elite players to ever play the game,” Woods said that day. “And to be in the same breath as those guys, it makes it very special.”
Besides Woods, the only other players to complete the career Grand Slam in their first attempts were Gene Sarazen (age 33) and Ben Hogan (40).
Jack Nicklaus narrated this tribute: