What sport other than golf allows the public, regardless of age, to compete and qualify for a chance to battle with professional athletes?
For a sport that has for decades carried a stigma of exclusivity and prejudice, golf has now begun to redefine itself, thanks to 16-year-old Jordan Spieth's spectacular story. The HP Byron Nelson Championship hit the gold mine with this young phenom who became the sixth-youngest player ever to qualify for a PGA Tour event.
However, just qualifying wasn't quite enough for Spieth.
He finished his second round at three-under-par 137, delivering him his first—and probably not his last—entrance to the weekend at the Championship.
While his friends grappled with what "x" equated to in the quadratic equation, Spieth struggled with whether to hit a hard nine-iron or soft eight-iron.
What Spieth has done in the last two days is not simply a personal accomplishment, but a testament to golf's distinctive—and truly original—nature.
The kid is 16. He lives and breathes golf. His parents support his passion, and consequently provide him with professional instruction, optimal equipment, and most importantly: familial encouragement to pursue his dream, which is to win the Masters.
Supposedly, Jordan's father had been taking him to the Byron Nelson since the age of 5, and now, a little over a decade later he is competing at the same place his aspirations were forged.
Watching Spieth hit his final approach shot to the 18th green, it was impossible not to visualize a star in the making. As he swung through the ball, he held off his finish slightly, and just before the ball reached its peak in the air, Spieth was already walking towards the hole, assured that it would be close to the cup.
Sure enough—he had five feet left when he reached the green before securing his spot for the weekend.
Spieth's insatiable and relentless desire to compete at the highest level was palpable in every stroke, putt, and gaze into the distance as he strategized his next move.
Spieth's three-birdie, two-bogey round of 69 was among the many highlights of the day. That also included his playing partner, Blake Adams, who blistered through the TPC Four Seasons Resort course with a six-under-par round of 64, and Cameron Beckman, who tied a course record with a nine-under-par 61.