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Home : Golf NewsBack to News

Spieth could become youngest Grand Slammer

 

At the age of 24 years and 17 days on Sunday, Jordan Spieth has the chance this week of becoming the youngest-ever winner of all four majors.

This at the 99th PGA Championship which this year is being played for the first time at the Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Spieth won the Masters and the US Open in 2015 and last month played some sensational golf to win the Open Championship in Lancashire, England. 

If he can add this week's PGA Championship to those three, he will not only make history by becoming the youngest man to capture a career Grand Slam, he will also join the highly select band who have achieved the feat, these being Ben Hogan, Gene Sarazen, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Tiger Woods.

He would also be the first golfer to have completed a career grand slam at the PGA Championship, Nicklaus, Woods and Hogan having done it at the British Open, Sarazen at the Masters and Player at the US Open.

At the present moment, Spieth is also among a select group of 13 players that includes major rival Rory McIlroy who has captured three of the four majors in their careers; Spieth being in the group with Tom Watson and the late Arnold Palmer as the only three never won the PGA.

Will all these exciting possibilities put added pressure on Spieth's young shoulders?

No, he says emphatically. "I don't need to be the youngest. I don't feel any added pressure because of that. I really don't feel any added pressure whatsoever. If it happens, great. If it doesn't then my next, probably last, life-long goal as a professional golfer would be to win the career grand slam."

McIlroy, meanwhile, could also write some history if he wins the Wanamaker Trophy for the third time after triumphing in 2012 and 2014. Three wins would put him fourth on the all-time winner's list behind Nicklaus and Walter Hagen with five each and Woods with four.

"Yes, it would be nice to make that a hat-trick," McIlroy said, adding, "And I play well at Quail Hollow. I love the golf course. They have made a few changes but I'll have some really good vibes."

Two charismatic veterans, Phil Mickelson with five majors and Ernie Els with four, will both be playing in their 100th majors this week.

Looking at the groups making up the 97-strong field,  we note that Spieth, the new Open winner, has been set to play alongside Sergio Garcia, who won his first major at this year's Masters in April and with maiden major winner Brooks Koepke who triumphed in the US Open not too long afterwards.

The World No 1, Dustin Johnson will be in the group just behind them on both days with Australia's 7th-ranked Jason Day and Sweden's 8th-rated Henrik Stenson.

Other notable groups playing together for the first two rounds include McIlroy, Spanish rookie Jon Rahm and Rickie Fowler, defending champion Jimmy Walker, Mickelson and Jason Dufner and Japan's big hope, Hideki Matsuyama who is down to play alongside Els and England's Ian Poulter. 

Neville Leck

Need more on this, contact neville@golfweather.com.

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