Jordan Spieth is becoming more accustomed to being near the top of the leaderboard than any 20-year-old has a right to.
But Spieth is no ordinary youngster. He is already part of the golfing elite and is one of the very best on the tour, despite his tender years.
The American announced himself to the golfing world at the year’s first major, The US Masters, after showing good form in the lesser events on the tour for some time, and he has continued that momentum throughout his season.
Whilst many youngsters would have seen a runners-up spot at the Masters as a representation of a good year, Spieth immediately went about improving himself – only winning is good enough for this young man.
The 20-year-old has only been on the professional tour for 20 months, but he has already breached the top ten in the world and he is now hunting for his first major championship.
It may well come at this week at the US Open too, after his opening day score of 69, left him at one-under for the tournament.
That puts him four shots behind overnight leader Martin Kaymer, but Spieth was relatively happy was his opening day on what is turning out to be a tricky course.
“I played 15 through 18 even which will be a goal for the week,” he said to PGA Tour.com. “It was a tough three putt on the last for a bogey.
“But, overall, I’ll take it for all four rounds.”
His performance today provided him with a solid platform to build upon for the rest of the week.
Spieth will feel more confident from his previous experience of being under pressure on the final day now, too.
He has said that he is aiming to be victorious here, after slipping out of contention on the final day of the two biggest tournaments so far this year.
At the aforementioned Masters tournament he was level with eventual winner Bubba Watson heading into the Sunday, but his inexperienced showed.
Then, at The Players Championship, which is considered the PGA Tour’s flagship event, the same scenario arose – as he went into the closing day level with Kaymer.
Once again, his lack of experience of the big occasion showed, as he put in his worst round score of the week to fall down the leaderboard.
Kaymer leads again here, though, and how he would love revenge.
There is an inevitability that Spieth will win a major at some point in his career, but he will be looking to do it as quickly possible.
And, day one at Pinehurst, he certainly has put him in contention to do that.
Spieth’s card today was solid – as he made four birdies and three bogeys during the day – but being consistent may be enough here.
The course is one set up to reward consistency, with it proving a challenge for many, as only 16 players made it to under par.
It’s now a question of whether Spieth can maintain his form for the remaining three days, but it would be somewhat of a surprise if he didn't given his talent, attitude and determination.
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