(Photo by Chris Condon/PGA TOUR)
By Joel Beall
From media, fans and fellow players, the golf world is singing the praises of Jordan Spieth’s Open Championship victory at Royal Birkdale. But perhaps the greatest compliment comes from the G.O.A.T. himself, Jack Nicklaus.
The Golden Bear took to Twitter to congratulate Spieth, applauding the 23-year-old for his maturity under pressure.
“Spieth’s Open victory was a great display of guts, determination and skill,” Nicklaus remarked. “This was very enjoyable to watch.”
Like most observing Spieth’s adventures on the 13th hole, Nicklaus believed the Texan’s wheels were coming off. But when the smoke cleared, Nicklaus was amazed what Spieth had pulled off.
“I don’t know if I would have figured out to go over to the driving range for that shot. That was an unbelievable decision and unbelievable 5,” Nicklaus said. “That putt was so huge. Much like Sergio Garcia’s par save at the 13th hole at Augusta National in the final round of the Masters, I believe Jordan’s bogey at the 13th hole today was the key to his round.”
Nicklaus, who won three claret jugs in his career, said that links golf is an acquired skill and a “huge exercise in discipline.” Sentiments that were on display in Spieth’s bounce-back effort over the final holes.
“To follow up that bogey on 13 with great golf shots and great putts, and play the final five holes in five under par, I was just very happy for him.”
Spieth became the second-youngest player to complete the first three legs of the Grand Slam behind Nicklaus. With a victory at Quail Hollow, Spieth would overtake Tiger Woods as the youngest player to complete the career achievement.