Texan star Jordan Spieth has drive to shine
THEY say things are bigger in Texas and maybe at this year's Masters in Augusta we saw the next big thing, after Dallas-born Jordan Spieth's win for the ages.
Two of the best golfers in history were born in the Lone Star State - Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson - and while those two giants of the game, with 15 major titles between them, graced fairways of a distant generation, Spieth, who grew up wanting to emulate Tiger Woods looks to be the man for this one.
Of course, this is just one major win for a youngster relatively new to the game after making his PGA Tour debut in 2012, but Spieth had shown before this success that he had it in him to reach the top.
He finished second to Bubba Watson in his Masters debut last year after leading for a fair chunk of the tournament and had already won three times on the Tour.
Australian fans got a glimpse of just how good this youngster is when he took out the Australian Open last season with a round that had to be seen to be believed.
On a windy day when shooting level-par would have been considered a top round, Spieth took the course apart at the Australian Golf Club, firing a nine-under 63 to claim the crown by six shots.
It would have been no surprise to observers of that performance to then see him go and become the second youngest man in history (at 21 years, nine months and 17 days old) to don the famous green jacket - Woods is the youngest.
Spieth also broke a number of records during his win at the Masters and at one point in his final round became the only man in Masters history to reach 19-under on his way to a first wire-to-wire win since Ray Floyd in 1976 and setting a new birdies record at Augusta of 28.
But while these records are spectacular, what really was impressive was how he kept his calm with a chasing pack of major winners in Phil Mickleson, Justin Rose, and Rory McIlroy on the final day.
He could have collapsed as the man who he now lies only second to on the world rankings - McIlroy - did in 2011 when he also held a four-shot lead going into the final round.
Spieth himself had let 54-hole leads slip away four times previously but not this time.
Perhaps McIlroy summed it up best when he said: "I don't think anyone could have kept up with Jordan this week."
Spieth began his path to golfing glory as a teenager dreaming of being like Woods.
Now Spieth might just be the one to take the baton.
He is an all-American boy with a close-knit family.
Spieth also has humility and humour in a world where some of our sporting stars do not.
"It was very nerve-racking, I didn't sleep well last night," he said. "It's very stressful what we do, that's why I have a hairline like this. Now I want to be like Bubba (Watson) and win two Masters."
Fellow Texans Nelson and Hogan also won twice at Augusta.
Maybe Spieth can add one or two more green jackets (and a whole lot more) to his collection in the future.
There looks to be no reason at the moment why he can't.
Jordan Spieth -18 (270)
Justin Rose -14 (274)
Phil Mickleson -14 (274)
Rory McIlroy -12 (276)
Hideki Matsuyama -11 (277)
Paul Casey, Ian Poulter, Dustin Johnson -9 (279)