One word comes up a lot when talking about Jordan Spieth: maturity.
Spieth joked that his maturity comes from his receding hairline, when asked about it recently on Golf Channel.
Others say it comes from being so close to his sister, Ellie, who has special needs.
Ellie has kept the 22-year-old Spieth grounded during his rise to the No. 1 ranking in the world. Spieth volunteers at her school when he is home in Texas and established the Jordan Spieth Family Foundation, which benefits youth with special needs as well as military families and junior golf.
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“Ellie certainly is the best thing that’s happened in our family,” Spieth said. “It helps put things in perspective that I’m lucky to play on tour and to compete with these guys, it’s been a dream come true. I definitely attribute a lot of that to her.”
Spieth rose to the top of the game in 2015, when he won the Masters and U.S. Open, tied for fourth place in the British Open and finished second in the PGA Championship.
“I’d like to think my couple of years on Tour were solid before last season, but certainly we stepped up our game,” Spieth said. “It’s a good feeling. Just builds more and more confidence. I feel like instead of trying to get in contention and then test out how to close, now we have a formula to be able to close out tournaments.”
Spieth already has one win and five top-25 finishes in six starts this season.
“I feel I’ve actually been off to a better start in 2016 than I was in 2015,” Spieth said. “I feel like I am in a better place on the PGA Tour season right now than I was last year. Now it’s time to build on this momentum right into (the Masters).”
Even though Spieth won the Masters last year, he still expects to be nervous when the tournament starts April 7 in Augusta, Ga.
“I don’t know if there’s going to be added nerves because of last year,” he said, “but I’ll certainly still be nervous on the first tee.”
Spieth said he hopes his success, and that of other young stars in the game, will help the sport grow.
“Sure, we’d all like to have a very positive impact on the game ultimately,” Spieth said, “but the only way to do that is to stay focused on our own goals and accomplish what we can on the course and be respectful and good people off the course to the best of our abilities.”
Spieth by the numbers
Career PGA Tour wins: 7
Career PGA Tour earnings: $21,870,200
World ranking: No. 1