Around the Hill: Can Spieth Replace Tiger as Golf’s Icon?

By David Minster, Maroon-News Staff

Jordan Spieth already replaced Tiger Woods as golf’s superstar. Spieth has taken the sports world by storm and, after winning the Masters and U.S. Open, solidified himself as one of the world’s top golfers. If it weren’t for Jason Day’s clutch play down the stretch, Spieth would have a PGA Championship under his belt as well. Between his beautiful golf game and his beautiful girlfriend, Spieth is  winning the game of life.

While Spieth has been on the incline, Tiger Woods has been in a constant free-fall for the last few years, winning his last major in 2008. Tiger, who was named the PGA Tour Player of the Year back in 2013, has been extremely inconsistent in recent years. Riddled by leg and back injuries, it’s clear that age is catching up with him. He’s been the leading earner on the PGA Tour for ten years during his 23 year career, but the last two years he’s been ranked no. 201 and 162, respectively. Although Tiger does rank among the top golfers of all time, his scandal and injuries ultimately led to his downfall. Losing his game both mentally and physically, it seems as if Tiger has lost his stripes.

Spieth is the new face of golf, while Tiger is slowly becoming less of a force on the tour. Spieth will surely continue his tour dominance in the upcoming year. Move over Tiger, Spieth has officially become golf’s superstar.

By Brian Rose, Assistant Sports Editor 

No, Jordan Spieth will not replace Tiger Woods as the icon of golf. Spieth’s dominance this past year is undeniable; he won two majors and was in the top four of the other two. Spieth was consistently great throughout the year, and never truly faltered, not unlike Tiger Woods in his prime. However, while Spieth’s play matches that of Tiger’s, his personality doesn’t. Tiger Woods in his prime was not only a great golfer, but also a source of entertainment away from the links. Tiger yelled at reporters, threw clubs, had affairs and was truly a spectacle to watch. Most notably, Tiger’s car crash in 2009 in which reports surfaced that he was running away from his wife, who happened to be chasing him with a golf club.

While Jordan Spieth has all the skills to become golf’s next great, he simply doesn’t have the personality. Aside from Tiger and the game of golf, all the “icons” of major sports have an unmistakable personality that surely helps define them.  Tom Brady wore Uggs around Boston and deflated footballs. Derek Jeter had a “dating diamond” of beautiful Hollywood stars. LeBron James made changing teams a national television event. All these stars have a personality that makes them icons in their respective sport. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, Jordan Spieth is a seemingly normal, mundane guy with a killer short game. Spieth is no Tiger Woods, for better or worse.

By Charlie Enberg, Maroon-News Staff

Jordan Spieth can and will replace Tiger as golf’s icon. From a competitive perspective, Spieth is dominating the field, winning both the Masters and the U.S Open this year, giving him two major championships at the young age of 22. At this pace, Spieth will be right up there with Tiger and other golf legends by the time he retires. And we should expect him to continue dominating, given he is only 22 years old and probably has not even entered his prime yet. However, the slew of talented golfers on the tour could make it hard to lock down championship after championship. Consistently beating both Rory McIlroy and Bubba Watson will prove to be difficult, but Spieth has the potential to be better than all of them. However, becoming an icon in Golf not only demands immense skills, but also a unique style, persona and image. Spieth is becoming the face of Under Armour, an athletic clothing company, which is adding to his international presence and marketability. He is following in the footsteps of Tiger and Michael Jordan, who both helped develop the rival Nike brand. Beyond that, the fans and commentators love Jordan Spieth. The crowd roars for him when he sinks a putt and he has even been dubbed as golf’s new “golden boy” by some newspapers. Athletes who define their sport are hard to come by, but I think we found one in Jordan Spieth.