When Jordan Spieth overcame a slow start Sunday before rolling to a three-shot victory in the Open Championship, he became the first player to win 10 tournaments and three different majors before his 24th birthday. He'll celebrate his birthday Thursday with the Claret Jug he won at Royal Birkdale.
Spieth would be the youngest player to capture the career grand slam if he wins the PGA Championship next month at Quail Hollow. Tiger Woods accomplished the feat when he won the British Open and the PGA Championship in 2000, months before his 25th birthday.
When you start whittling down history, you realize that Spieth could retire tomorrow and remain in select company. Only 116 players in golf's rich history have won 10 tournaments in their careers. Twenty-eight of them also won at least three majors. Sixteen of the 28 retired before 1980.
Spieth's victory total and four slams overall, impressive enough, are more remarkable when you consider the competition. Ben Hogan and Sam Snead were legends of the game, but they mostly battled one another at the top. The same was true for Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player.
Spieth's success came in the generation after Woods stormed onto the tour and popularized golf around the world. Woods led the tour in victories a record 12 different seasons, twice as many as Nicklaus and Tom Watson did for second-most. It's hard to fathom anyone breaking that record.
The tour has never been so deep in talent than it is today, making it harder to win. Spieth may never match Woods' victory total, or major victory total, or lead the tour in victories for as many seasons. But he is proving that players can dominate the way Woods did. At his age, he's better.
- While it appears Anquan Boldin is trying to squeeze one more contract out of his career before he retires, signing him may not be a bad move for the Bills. Boldin, 36, reportedly will visit the Bills this week to talk about becoming their third receiver.
Boldin is well past his prime, but he's the type of possession receiver the Bills have needed for years. He's big, works well in small spaces and can catch the ball in traffic. His effectiveness over the middle in recent years largely came from playing a physical style against single coverage.
Of course, in order to maximize his strengths, Tyrod Taylor will need to throw the ball between the hash marks once in a while. I'm less optimistic about Taylor's ability to find Boldin open than Boldin's ability to get open for Taylor.
Boldin for years has had a reputation as one of the NFL's good guys. At the very least, he would be a strong leader on a team needing them.
- Aaron Judge was the most feared hitter in baseball before the All-Star break and falling into a slump. The Yanks rookie batted .329 with 30 homers and 66 RBIs, leading some to wonder if he would win the Triple Crown.
Before Sunday, he was batting .171 with two homers and a .661 OPS in his first 10 games after the break. Included was a 1-for-21 slump that made me wonder if participating in the Home Run Derby altered his swing plane just enough to throw him off.
No need to worry, Yanks fans. Judge was still batting .313 while leading the AL in homers, walks, on-base percentage, slugging percentage and total bases. He was second behind Nelson Cruz with 73 RBIs.
- You'll never hear an NFL player admit as much after reporting to training camp, but I will before showing up Thursday at St. John Fisher College: I'm not in the best shape of my life.
- Let me get this straight: Kyrie Irving doesn't want to play second fiddle to LeBron James and wants out of Cleveland … and teams are interested in acquiring him? No general manager worth his paycheck should want any player who puts himself before his teammates. It's a guaranteed way to lose – and lose your job.
Irving can demand a trade all he wants, but he's not going anywhere unless the Cavaliers can strike a deal that benefits them. Good luck. The minute Irving asked for a trade was the minute Cleveland lost leverage. Now, every other team in the NBA knows the Cavs are in a compromising position.
Say what you will about LeBron, but he accepted far less money to help the Cavaliers win a championship. He's the best player on the planet. Somebody needs to remind Irving that the Cavs were 33-49 before LeBron led them to the NBA Finals for three straight years after he returned.
- In case you stayed up all night wondering, the Roland Massimino who tied for 50th at the Porter Cup is, in fact, the grandson of former Villanova basketball coach Roland "Rollie" Massimino. The kid is entering his junior year at Kent State.
His father, R.C., was a reserve guard on the famed Villanova team that Massimino guided to a national championship in 1985 over Patrick Ewing-led Georgetown. It was among the biggest upsets in history for a national championship game.
- Speaking of basketball legends and grandchildren, former Bishop Timon and Canisius College star Johnny McCarthy's granddaughter is one of the top high school players in Massachusetts. Maggie McCarthy, a 5-9 guard for Medford High, verbally committed to Harvard.
A senior-to-be, she was named MVP of the Tri-Valley League as a sophomore and junior. Her father, John, played football and basketball for Canisius High and Amherst College and is now a lawyer. Her brothers, John and Tim, will play hoops at the same school next season.
It all started with the older Johnny McCarthy, who was the first of three men to record triple-doubles in their NBA playoff debuts. You may have heard of the others: Magic Johnson and LeBron James.