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Friday, December 14, 2012
Jordan Spieth leaves Longhorns

By Richard Durrett
ESPNDallas.com

University of Texas sophomore golfer Jordan Spieth turned professional Friday, ending his amateur career.

The 19-year-old Dallas native was the Big 12 player of the year and freshman of the year last season, helping Texas win the 2012 NCAA championship.

Jordan Spieth
Jordan Spieth, who made the cut here at the PGA Tour's Valero Texas Open, has decided to leave the University of Texas and turn pro.

Spieth won U.S. Junior Amateur titles in 2009 and '11. Tiger Woods is the only other golfer with more than one U.S. Junior Amateur title.

"The decision to turn pro was a difficult one, but I'm looking forward to the challenge of competing at the highest level and accomplishing the many goals I've set for myself on and off the course," Spieth said in a news release sent out by the school Friday. "I owe everything I've achieved thus far to the support of my family, friends, teammates, and The University of Texas. While I'm proud of what my teammates and I have accomplished, I couldn't be more excited to fulfill my lifelong dream of becoming a professional golfer."

Spieth made national news as a 16-year-old high school student in Dallas when he was in contention midway through the final round of the PGA Tour's Byron Nelson Championship in 2010 before slipping a bit on the back nine and finishing tied for 16th.

Spieth has made the cut in six of the eight professional events he's entered, including earning low amateur at the 2012 U.S. Open. He was also a finalist for the 2012 Ben Hogan Award, given to the top amateur golfer in the country.

"Jordan Spieth is a remarkable young man," Longhorns men's golf coach John Fields said in the release. "Though he is leaving early, he has left a positive, indelible mark on The University of Texas and our program. Jordan is first class -- first class as a student, first class as a teammate. We will certainly miss him, but our future remains bright, and like him, this is a new beginning for all of us."