Golf: Jordan Spieth 'set to be the next Tiger Woods'

Jordan Spieth during last month's US Open, which he won for back-to-back Majors. His odds of a treble have just shortened after world No. 1 Rory McIlroy pulled out of the British Open with a knee injury.
Jordan Spieth during last month's US Open, which he won for back-to-back Majors. His odds of a treble have just shortened after world No. 1 Rory McIlroy pulled out of the British Open with a knee injury.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

LONDON • With golf's world No. 1 Rory McIlroy out with a knee injury, there may not be a better opportunity for rising star Jordan Spieth to win the British Open.

And, according to former US Ryder Cup captain Paul Azinger, the 21 year-old has all the attributes to become the next Tiger Woods.

Spieth has enjoyed a breakthrough year, winning both the Masters in April and the US Open last month and will be among the favourites at St Andrews next week.

Woods, a 14-time Major champion, dominated the sport for more than a decade and Azinger said Spieth had shown enough in his fledgling career to suggest he is capable of emulating his compatriot.

"He's all the things Tiger was," the 55-year-old Azinger, a TV pundit for the British Open, said. "Tiger was as composed as anybody and if he did get ticked off, he was able to put it behind him.

"Tiger was strategic and studied, he knows a lot about the game and Jordan reminds me in that part. He shares what he's thinking and I think that's just great.

"My favourite thing about Spieth is he is who we think he is. He's just a good guy who has got his act together. He's an old head on a young body. He's strategic in his approach and he just seems grateful; he works for everything he's got.

"He's a breath of fresh air."

Azinger said the St Andrews course would suit Spieth in his bid to add a third Major to his rapidly growing collection. "The golf course sets up nicely for him. It's hard to get it close at St Andrews and he's the best in the world between 15 and 25 feet."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 10, 2015, with the headline 'Spieth 'set to be the next Tiger''. Print Edition | Subscribe