Spieth the latest classic performer of 2015

OK, everyone smile and say, "We want a Grand Slam!" (Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

OK, everyone smile and say, “We want a Grand Slam!” (Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Wonder and genuine pleasure have been in short supply in so many of 2015’s venues, with one exception – the playing field.

If nothing else, the year is shaking out to be one of deeply memorable performances by the sporting class. They are a relatively inconsequential bunch as far as the headline makers of the world go, but they are coming in awfully handy at a time when any kind of uplift goes a long way.

It began in April when a barely legal professional golfer conquered the Masters. Then Jordan Spieth, on a course that is as different from Augusta National as a moonscape is from the gardens of Versailles, won the U.S. Open. Such adaptability at such a tender age was glorious to witness.

Try not to class Sunday’s conclusion as the Open that Dustin Johnson lost with his three-putt on 18. Think of it as Johnson merely stepping aside to let history play through.

Then a month later came a horse named American Pharoah, winning the Kentucky Derby and setting in motion another Triple Crown dream. Since Affirmed in 1978, each one of those dreams had been dashed. But not in 2015, when a feat that some had come to consider an anachronistic impossibility was finished off with style at the Belmont Stakes.

Now a horse of another kind is working – his name Max Scherzer. The Washington Nationals pitcher just about went Johnny Vander Meer (he of the back to back no-hitters in 1938). He piled his no-hitter Saturday atop a one-hitter his previous outing. Scherzer’s line over 18 innings: 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 walk, 26 strikeouts, 1 hbp. He has retired 54 of last 57 batters he has faced. The Braves are scheduled to just miss him in their upcoming three-game series with Nats. And that is a disappointment, for who doesn’t want to watch what Scherzer may be capable of next?

Now can Spieth win what currently is defined as golf’s Grand Slam – not won, in another form, since 1930 by Bobby Jones?

Spieth, for one, is not shrinking from the question. “I think it’s in the realm of possibility,” he said Sunday.

This is not the year to blow off such a wild notion.

Reader Comments 0


This weekend was a good case for the revival of Putt-Putt Golf.  Goofy golf is what was played in the Pacific NW.  The USGA really knows how to treat their fans.  What an experience for all those tiny little people we saw on the hills in the background.  I'm sure that they all believed they got their money's worth.  NOT


It seems an AJC writer can't write a straight-up story about our nation's golf tournament. Usually, they pull in those two words guaranteed to get in-town AJC readers' eyes.  You know the words -- they begin with a T and a W.

But if they can't work in a reference to 'T.W.', they work in some very strange (and meaningless) mélange of stuff from other sports.  Usually, Hummer isn't as guilty as others on the ragged staff of AJC writers.  But he has succumbed.

But there was a trifecta going here:

1. Very bad course (thank you USGA) in general - 60 yd. rollouts for missing a good hitting area by 6 in. is just not right.  The course reminded me of 'our' Bobby Jones public course...after a 3 week drought.

2. Very bad 'greens'.  A joke - in bad taste.

3. Very bad TV coverage by people who, for the most part, seem to know little about the game.  But I'd still rate NBC just a notch less-worse for no other reason than Johnny Miller and his fawning and pandering over the aforementioned 'TW' no matter what - that's usually just sickening.

All-in-all, our national tourney was tarnished by the course and the TV folks.  But the game won out because, no matter where played or by whom, it's still the BEST game ever invented.

Bravo, Jordan - on to St. Andrews!


I used to somehow feel that ABC's golf coverage was a little boring and colorless.  But after seeing the FOX version, ABC is top notch!  They all were just silent or mouthed the obvious.  I used to think that Lanny Wadkins was the most boring guy out there, but he's John Madden on speed compared to Greg Norman and Buck.   It just made me realize how good the other networks are at this.  Faldo, Miller, and their cast members are up there with the greatest ever.  FOX just proved that beyond debate.   I only wish we could have had the real heavyweights in the booth calling this one.  Spieth certainly deserved major league announcers.


Spieth story lost somewhere between Fox's poor coverage and Dustin's meltdown. Can't believe Joe Buck thought Grace was putting for birdie after his 1st tee shot went OB on 16. If I had a $1 for every tee shot lost by both the cameras and the course reporters I'd be announcing early retirement today.