Jordan Spieth becomes first Longhorn golfer to rank No. 1

Reanna Zuniga

The Texas golf program has been home to some of the best players in the world since its inception, most notably major champions Tom Kite and Ben Crenshaw. However, for the first time in University history, a former Longhorn is now the top golfer in the world as Jordan Spieth took the No. 1 spot from Rory McIlroy on Aug. 16 after shooting 17 under par at the PGA Championship in Kohler, Wisconsin. 

“I realize that although we have just reached that goal of being No. 1 in the world, with the way these young guys are playing and the way you see it being played on the biggest stage, it’s going to be really, really hard to keep that position,” Spieth said to the Dallas Morning News. “But it’s a ranking system, and it changes week to week. It’s an honor right now to be in this position, but if I’m not careful, two Mondays from now, I’m not in the same position. I’d like to obviously hold it.”

As the professional golf calendar comes to a close, Spieth’s year stands out as one of the best in golf history. To say Spieth has had an incredible year would be an understatement. Just a few months ago, he won his first major championship — the 2015 Masters — which kicked off Spieth’s journey to the top spot in the world. En route to taking home the green jacket in April, Spieth made 28 birdies to help him finish 18 under par to take the title. The 21-year-old was the youngest player to win the Masters since Tiger Woods in 1991.

Following his victory at the Masters, all eyes were on Spieth for the U.S. Open. Whispers of Spieth taking home two major championships grew throughout the tournament, and when Spieth was crowned champion following the tournament’s 72nd hole, the golf world continued to watch Spieth as he attempted to win the next major, The Open Championship at St. Andrews in Britain.

In the weeks leading up to The Open, the suspense built as the public toggled through the possible outcomes of the third major championship of the year. In his second time ever playing at St. Andrews, the Texan ended his streak after tying for fourth — just one stroke away from making the playoff.

Despite the disappointing loss, Spieth had positioned himself to become the world’s top golfer, which he accomplished following the PGA Championship at
Whistling Straights .

“When Jordan came to Texas, he told me his goals included winning a National Championship and to be No. 1 in the world,” said head coach John Fields. “Pearl and I, along with all Texas Exes, our entire University of Texas Athletic Department, UT staff, faculty and student body congratulate Jordan and his family on this welldeserved and hard-earned honor.”