The second round of the British Open is underway on the Old Course at St. Andrews, and American Jordan Spieth tees off in thirty minutes tied for 8th at 5-under. It is said you can’t win a golf tournament on Thursday and Friday, but you can definitely lose it. If you’re a sports history buff, it’s important for Jordan Spieth to not lose this tourney.
2015 is shaping up to be, by sports standards, one of the most historic years ever. It started on June 6, when American Pharaoh won the Belmont Stakes and, having previously won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, captured the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing. It was an astounding achievement given no horse had won the Triple Crown since Affirmed in 1978. The thirty-seven year drought has been erased, and for one weekend at least, horse racing in the United States was relevant again.
The prolific sports year continued just thirty days later as the US Women’s National Team made their way north of the border and took on the world in the FIFA Women’s World Cup. Facing Japan in a rematch of the 2011 final, a game in which the US Women lost on penalty kicks, Team USA exploded from the opening kickoff scoring four goals in sixteen minutes. Carli Lloyd became a household name overnight scoring the first hat trick (3 goals) ever in a Women’s World Cup final. The final result was a 5-2 victory and the first World Cup title for the US since the fabled Women’s team from 1999.
Just last week, Serena Williams won Wimbledon and, in doing so, her third Major tennis tournament of the year. Arguably one of the greatest female players of all time with 21 Major titles to her name, Serena has a chance to cement her legacy in the annals of tennis history beginning August 31 at the US Open. Should she win, Serena will secure the first Grand Slam in tennis since Steffi Graf did it in 1988. And by all accounts, the US Open is Serena’s to lose. She dominates on the hard court, she’s reached the tournament finals every year since 2011, and she’s won the title three years in a row.
That is why it’s so important for Spieth to win in Scotland. In the Masters era, no golfer has won all four majors in the same calendar year. Bobby Jones did win the four majors he played in 1930 (The Amateur Championship, The Open, The US Open, and the US Amateur), but since 1934, when the Masters was founded and became a major tournament, the Grand Slam of Golf has been an elusive conquest.
Should Spieth hoist the Claret Jug on Sunday, he’d be only the second golfer to consecutively win the Masters, US Open, and Open Championship (Ben Hogan accomplished this feat in 1953). It would also set up the PGA Championship, golf’s 4th major, as must-see-TV.
So whether you’re a sports fan or not, there’s no denying the intrigue of “history in the making”. We’ve already seen a collective fifty-three years of sports history reset, and Serena is looking to make it eighty. Jordan Spieth holds the keys to trumping them all and giving us something we’ve never seen before.
…and that is something to root for.