Two days from now, Jordan Spieth will begin his pursuit of history as he attempts to win the US PGA Championship at Quail Hollow, North Carolina. Should he win, he will become the youngest player ever to complete a career grand slam by winning all four of professional golf’s Majors.
Spieth does not seem all that concerned with earning the spot. “I don’t need to be the youngest. I don’t feel any added pressure because of that,” Spieth said.
This is Spieth’s only chance to achieve the youngest distinction. He would be about six months younger than was Tiger Woods when Woods won the 2000 British Open to complete a career grand slam.
Spieth seems equally, perhaps even more, intent on completing the career grand slam at some point, any point, in his career. He would then join an elite fraternity that includes just Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Gene Sarazen, Gary Player and Ben Hogan.
Sarazen was the first, with his win at The Masters in 1935, 15 years after he turned professional. He already held six Major titles, including three PGAs, which at that time was a match play format.
Ben Hogan completed his career slam in 1953, when he won The Masters, U.S. Open and the British Open. He was unable to play the PGA in 1953 due to a scheduling conflict with the British Open, the one and only time he had ever played The Open.
Gary Player turned professional that same year of 1953. He punched his ticked in 1965 with a U.S. Open victory, after which he won six more Majors.
Nicklaus won the British Open in 1966 to complete his slam, the first of his three victories in England’s most prestigious tournament.
For Tiger Woods, it was the year 2000, when he failed only in the season’s first Major, The Masters, which he first won in 1997.
Spieth is looking to join the most elite group in professional golf, yet he seems decidedly nonchalant about the entire prospect.