Jordan Spieth has put his name alongside golf’s greatest legends and refuses to be daunted as he contemplates the sport’s holy grail at the tender age of 21.
The Texan who romped to victory in the Australian Open seven months ago is now halfway to a so-far unattainable modern grand slam after adding the US Open title to the Masters green jacket he won in April.
Spieth’s thrilling one-shot victory at Chambers Bay on Sunday makes him the youngest US Open champion since Bobby Jones in 1923.
He is the youngest two-time major champion since Gene Sarazen in 1922, joining also Young Tom Morris and John McDermott as players who have won two majors before the age of 22.
He’s also just the sixth player in history, and the youngest, to win the Masters and US Open in the same year, joining Tiger Woods (2002), Jack Nicklaus (1972), Arnold Palmer (1960), Ben Hogan (1951, 1953) and Craig Wood (1941).
Only Hogan in 1953 went on to win the British Open, a feat Spieth will try to attempt next month at St Andrews.
No player has won all four of the modern majors in the same year, with Hogan denied the chance due to the fact the dates of the US PGA Championship clashed in 1953 with the British Open.
Woods has held all four trophies at once, referenced as the Tiger Slam, but he won the US Open, British Open and PGA Championship in 2000 and then added the Masters in 2001.
“We will go to St Andrews looking to win the claret jug,” said Spieth.
“I believe we will be able to get the job done if we get the right prep in.
“I think it’s in the realm of possibility.
“The grand slam is something that I never could really fathom somebody doing, considering I watched Tiger when he was winning whatever percentage of the majors he played in and he won the Tiger Slam, but he never won the four in one year.
“I figured if anybody was going to do it, it would be him, I’m just excited for the opportunity coming and I’m not going to think about what could possibly happen after.”
Spieth’s US Open victory was in complete contrast to the procession he enjoyed on the way to a four-shot Masters win at Augusta.
A 17th-hole double bogey opened the door for fellow American Dustin Johnson to steal victory as Spieth birdied the last hole for a closing one-under-par 69 and five-under 275 total.
But Johnson (70), having given himself a 12-foot eagle putt to win, inexplicably three-putted to hand Spieth the title and a chance at history as he settled for a tie for second with South African Louis Oosthuizen (67).
“I’m still in shock…I’ve never experienced a feeling like this,” Spieth said.
“It’s incredible to win a major championship…and to have two in one year and to still be early in the year, that’s hard to wrap my head around.
“But sitting here right now I am understanding that this is a special time for me.”
Adam Scott made a brave run at an unlikely victory with the equal second-lowest final round in US Open history, shooting a six-under 64 to hold the early clubhouse lead at three-under.
Scott ultimately shared fourth place with South African Branden Grace (71) and major championship debutant and fellow Queenslander Cameron Smith (68) who hit a stunning approach to the last for a tap-in eagle that earned him spots in the Masters and US Open next year as well as conditional status on the US PGA Tour for the remainder of the season.
Playing with Johnson in the last group, a brave Jason Day struggled to a 74, battling his vertigo issues the entire way, to finish at even-par and tied for ninth.
John Senden posted a two-under-68 to get to two-over and tied 14th, Geoff Ogilvy shot 67 to be three-over and tied 18th while Marcus Fraser finished at 13-over.