After winning the Masters and U.S. Open – and finishing fourth at the British Open and runner-up at the PGA Championship – Jordan Spieth has supplanted Rory McIlroy as the top-ranked golfer in the world.
John Fields isn’t surprised one bit. The Texas golf coach, who won a national championship with Spieth in 2012, knew the Dallas native was destined for greatness.
“It’s been a lot of fun (watching his rise),” Fields said on CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “My wife and I have been able to share in some of that. We were at Augusta National on the Monday prior to the Masters. I got to spend some time with Jordan. That was wonderful because it was prior to him winning both the majors that he did. But you could see the confidence coming off the second place the year before and then going right in there and winning the Masters and then following that up a few weeks later with the U.S. Open. We happened to be out there as well for the U.S. Open and got to share that with him and his family. For us, it was just surreal, to be quite honest. We felt that Jordan was going to be somebody special for sure and we also thought that he would accomplish some of the things that he has done now. But (we) certainly didn’t know it was going to be this quick.”
Fields sees many special qualities in Spieth, qualities that other Longhorn greats had.
“Being the head golf coach at Texas, you get to be around some really fine players,” Fields said. “And two in particular are Ben Crenshaw and Tom Kite, both of them Hall of Fame members and both having won major championships. There’s just some commonalities in the way Jordan thinks and the way he goes about his business on this level that those two guys (did). Ben Crenshaw and Tom Kite have . . . exactly what Jordan (possesses) – and that’s an unbelievable amount of confidence in the skillset that he has. And then the vision and the desire and the ability to have just such an incredible set of goals that include major championships, Ryder Cups and those types of things (is crucial).
Fields was asked where Spieth’s supreme yet humble confidence comes from. Field’s answer should surprise no one.
“Well, I actually think it comes from his mom and dad and his family,” he said. “His dad played Division I baseball at Lehigh, his mother played Division III basketball, his brother, Steven, right now is going to enter his junior year as a guard at Brown, and everybody has heard that (he has a) special-needs (sister), Ellie, who is 13 years old. It’s just an incredible athletic family that believes and has high goals and has been around sports for a long time. I just think that Jordan grew up with an incredible ability to believe in what he has. I do think it’s family-oriented.”