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Sunday, 27 August 2017

No Pictures

We don't know what will happen this afternoon at the Northern Trust, but the smart money has to be on Jordan Spieth taking home the trophy give him four PGA tour wins this year. Spieth is not the number one player on the official world golf rankings, but he's arguably the best player in the game right now. And what is weird is that we're sometimes left to wonder how the hell he manages to do it.

Today Spieth goes up against DJ in the final round with a three shot lead. Now DJ is a pretty intimidating opponent. But, given that Spieth has only once lost when entering the final round with the lead; that loss being his disaster at Augusta where the twelfth hole did him in on the final day, you really have to like his chances. There are other big names in the hunt a few more shots back, but barring some real heroics from someone back in the pack, it promises to be the Spieth verses DJ show today. The only danger could be that DJ and Spieth get caught up in a match play mindset and lose sight of the threat posed by the rest of the field.

Earlier this season DJ was so dialled in that you wondered if he could be stopped. Unfortunately for DJ, a slippery staircase put him out of commission at Augusta where he most wanted his dominance to continue. DJ looks to be most of the way back, but the momentum is definitely with Spieth. His heroics at tne Open must have him about as confident as you can be. Like Tiger before him, Jordan has learned that he can win even without his best stuff. And that ability is what, in my mind, makes him a great player. Any of the top players can win when they're on their games and the putts are dropping. But Spieth can win ugly. 

Everyone raves about Spieth's putting, and Spieth's putting can be a huge weapon. But, with Spieth, the total seems to somehow be greater than the sum of his parts. He's not at the top of any statistical category other than the two that count most--scoring average and wins. Okay, he's actually not at the top of any statistical category. His good friend Justin Thomas has one more win this season, if we count the dopey wrap-around season, and he leads the putting stats with Spieth in second. But Spieth will catch him in wins today if past record means anything and the crick don't rise. Rickie Fowler actually has the lowest scoring average right now, but Spieth is once again second in that category. 

I've said it before, and I'll say it again; Jordan Spieth is the best golfer in the game right now. Since arriving on tour he is the winningest player with 11 wins on the PGA tour. He wins because he can do so many things really well, and he is the ultimate competitor. He plays every shot to the hilt; perhaps not like Arnie did--Arnie was more aggressive--but to the hilt nonetheless. He simply tries harder than the rest. He may not always look pretty, but he's the kind of guy that just knows how to score. And, until they change the rules, score is what it's all about. There are not now, and likely never will be, pictures on the scorecard.