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After Masters breakthrough, what's in the future for Spieth?

4/13/2015

With his record-setting victory at the Masters on Sunday, Jordan Spieth cemented his place in history. But what does a win like this, at the age of 21, mean for Spieth’s future, particularly in the majors?

Lots on majors on the horizon

Spieth becomes the 10th player in the Masters era (since 1934) to win a major championship before his 25th birthday. Of the previous nine players to do it, seven went on to win at least four major championships.

Five of those players (Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Peter Thomson, Seve Ballesteros, Ernie Els) are in the World Golf Hall of Fame. Two others – Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy – probably will get there.

When is the next win?

So if history says Spieth will win multiple majors, how long will he have to wait for No. 2?

Narrowing the list to players who won at age 23 or younger in the Masters era (Spieth is the seventh on the list), three of the previous six won their next major within their next four major starts.

Jerry Pate (1976 U.S. Open) was the only member of the group who never won another major.

Besides Pate, the player who had to wait the longest for his next major victory was Woods. After the 1997 Masters, he didn’t win another major until the 1999 PGA Championship, his 11th major start after his initial breakthrough.

An elite American

Spieth’s win at his age places him among American golf royalty. In the past 100 years, Woods, Tom Creavy, Bobby Jones and Gene Sarazen are the only other Americans to win a major at the age of 21 or younger.

The victory also propelled Spieth to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking (behind Rory McIlroy), and he is now the highest-ranked American in the world.

From the perspective of PGA Tour history, Spieth became the third player since 1940 to reach three tour victories before his 22nd birthday (joining Woods and Sergio Garcia), and Spieth and Woods are the only members of that group who also won a major at that age.