Jordan Spieth remained atop the world golf rankings after missing the cut last week, thanks to his first-round 79. It marked only the 13th time in 79 career events that he failed to play the weekend. Already he has seven victories, including two majors, and pocketed more than $21 million.
His early success actually makes you appreciate Tiger Woods. Tiger missed the cut only 15 times over 313 career events. Fifteen times! Six came over two seasons in which he was a shell of himself. Spieth was the runaway player of the year in 2015, and he missed the cut four times.
Spieth has the talent and toughness to dominate, but now it gets tougher. Ask Rory McIlroy, who was No. 1 for 95 weeks in his career and is now third. The demands of being No. 1 can be a grind. For Tiger, who had the top spot for 683 weeks, it was the norm.
Let’s not sound the alarms on Spieth just yet. He has a win, two top 10’s and three top-25 finishes in four events this year. Last year, he finished 13th or better after missing the cut. After a breather, he’ll return next month to defend his title at the Valspar Championship.