I first heard of Jordan Spieth in 2010 when I was getting ready for my weekly radio golf show.
I was going through accounts of the PGA Tour event that week, the HP Byron Nelson Championship, and saw that a 16-year-old had made the cut. He was the sixth-youngest ever to make the cut in a PGA Tour event, making me shake my head.
It didn't take long before his name became more and more known and when he broke through last year with one of the greatest rookie seasons on the PGA Tour; his name resonated to every corner of the golf world.
Fast forward to January and February of this year. As the PGA Tour's 2013-14 season wrapped into the new year, the annual "look forward to the Masters" began. But this year, the look had a bit of twist to it:
How will Spieth do in his first go-round at Augusta National Golf Club?
He had played in three previous majors and was the low amateur in the 2012 U.S. Amateur. He missed the cut in the 2013 U.S. Open and PGA Championship but tied for 44th in the British Open last year.
But the Masters is different. It's the most anticipated major of the year because nearly eight months had come and gone between the last major (PGA Championship). And it's the major that the majority of players really want to win.
And how did the 20-year-old superstar handle the magnitude of the first golf tournament of the year with great meaning?
Quite nicely, I'd say, thank you very much.
And I'm not talking necessarily how he did on the golf course. He was superb there, a couple of mistakes and bounces away from stifling all of the Bubba Golf talk. Yes, he got frustrated a couple of times on the back nine Sunday when he realized it was getting away from him.
I am really impressed with the Jordan Spieth we see off the course. This is a 20-year-old, clean-shaven, respectful, well-spoken and obviously mature young man.
There's nothing flashy about this kid; he's not controversial and not at all outspoken. There will be demands on him to become more personable as he grows up, but considering what we've had to deal with for the last 17 years as golf's alpha dog, Spieth is a nice alternative.
Michael Buteau of Bloomberg News wrote a story that ran in Tuesday's Dallas Morning News. In it, he explores how Spieth's second-place finish will expand his financial portfolio greatly and also talked about how Spieth brings home a keychain to his special needs sister from every place he travels.
Saying he's too good to be true isn't appropriate because he is true.
Correcting typo, Jordan (9) youngest American to crack top 10 in world ranking since it began in '86. (thanks @ozzygolf)— Doug Ferguson (@dougferguson405) April 15, 2014
He handled his post-round television interview with great grace. He was very much a professional in the media center. These are things that aren't routinely done with this generation of golfers. Pouting, snarly answers are often the responses to questions about their disappointment.
But Spieth has no problem speaking his mind in a very measured way and has been very forthright about everything.
While Bubba Watson, the winner of the Masters, has said no to any sort of national media tour, there was Spieth, the runner-up, doing an interview on ESPN's Mike & Mike Monday morning.
And in a story written by Gene Wojciechowski for ESPN.com, Spieth admitted the loss definitely stung and the sting would likely be around for a long time.
As we know, there have been plenty of "the next Tigers" to come along, and no one has come close to Woods' on-course accomplishments. And I really hope those who think they know will refrain from putting that tag on Spieth.
He hasn't been able to celebrate his 21st birthday yet. He looks like he'd be hard-pressed to grow a playoff beard.
Let's let this kid be just that. Let him and his golf game continue to grow together.
Does he look like he could be a dominant player someday? Could very well be. And if you need evidence to support that assumption, look back to what he did in 2013.
I'd love to see him develop into something special as he matures chronologically and become the leader in a game that could well be coming to a point where fresh new leadership is necessary.
I'd love even more to see him become a gentlemanly champion. Yes, he had those few minor outbursts, but nothing that came close to some of the legendary F-bombs Woods has launched over the years.
If Jordan Spieth continues doing the right things, with the last couple of days as prime examples, the golf world will be his kingdom in the not-too-distant future.