Jordan Spieth, at the age of 24, has three of the four major championships under his belt. He nearly won a second green jacket this year with his final-round 64 (8-under par) only to finish T-3.
Don’t forget he probably would have won a green jacket in 2016 had it not been for that quadruple-bogey on No.12.
Out of all the young golfers on the PGA Tour, Spieth appears to be the only one that will make a legitimate run at Tiger Woods’ 14 major championships. I am not saying Rory McIlroy (age 29) or Justin Thomas (age 24) can’t do it…I just think if you were to place money on someone, it would be Spieth without question.
By the age of 24, Tiger Woods had already completed the Career Grand Slam and had won five major championships at this point – he won the PGA Championship twice. If Speith can win the U.S. Open or Open Championship this summer, he will have four under his belt before his 25th birthday in August.
There shouldn’t be a concern if he doesn’t have four majors by the time he is 25. Jack Nicklaus, who has 18 major championships, only had three before he turned 25. And did not win a single major in his age 24 season.
What will be important is how Spieth can handle the next 15 years. Between the ages of 25-33, Woods racked up nine majors. Nicklaus between the ages of 25-33 racked up 12 majors – giving him 15 at the age of 33. His final major championship victory was at the age of 46 at the 1986 Masters.
So in the next 15 years, Spieth will need to accumulate 11 majors to tie Woods and give himself a fighting chance to challenge Nicklaus’ all-time record.
It seems very possible, but we said the same exact thing about McIlroy when he gathered four majors by the time he turned 25 in 2014…but now he has gone almost four years without winning a major. Essentially, McIlroy, if he wants to catch Tiger will also have to win about 10 majors in the next 10 years to tie and put himself in a position to challenge Nicklaus.
Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods have proved to us that winning in major championships after the age of 40 is CHALLENGING.
It’s hard enough to put together four championship-caliber rounds in your prime, let alone when you are past it. Plus you can’t forget about how deep these major championship fields have become in the last decade.
Obviously, Spieth seems to be the most likely candidate to challenge Woods for the simple reason that he still has time on his side and that he definitely does not look like he is a ‘flash in the pan’. If he can avoid injuries and off-the-course distractions then he could end up becoming the greatest golfer of this generation.