ATLANTA—Jordan Spieth didn’t need the Tour Championship, the FedEx Cup, or an extra $10 million to prove anything.
He just played that way.
No matter what happened yesterday at East Lake, his highlight always was going to be the green jacket he won at the Masters with a record-tying score.
The U.S. Open title he won at Chambers Bay only made it better.
His bid for the Grand Slam, his run through the majors, and his awards made this a season to remember.
And then the 22-year-old Texan put on a finishing touch that made it all the more sweeter—and richer.
“Incredible,” Spieth said after closing with a one-under 69 for a four-shot victory in the Tour Championship.
This is the kid Ben Crenshaw met as a teenager and said later, upon looking in his eyes, that he thought he was looking at Wyatt Earp.
Imagine how Henrik Stenson felt when Spieth dropped in one big putt after another.
In the end, the hard-luck Swede only could smile.
“Eleven was the dagger,” Spieth conceded.
That was the par-three 11th—the biggest turning point in the final round.
Spieth had a two-shot lead and hit a five-iron heavy. “Just get to the green,” he moaned.
And when he got there, it wasn’t hard to size up the score. He was 45 feet away while Stenson was looking at just over a three-footer.
And yet, Spieth rolled in the long putt for birdie to keep his two-shot lead.
After Stenson made bogey on the next hole, Spieth rolled in par putts of eight feet on the 15th and 16th.
And when his drive down the 17th fairway—a bunker right, the lake on the left—hit the fairway, Stenson said he “knew it was over.”
“Whenever he had to make a putt, he did it,” noted Stenson, a runner-up for the third time in the FedEx Cup playoffs this year.
“Very well-deserving champion.
“He’s hard to beat on the greens, we know that,” Stenson added. “And [I] just couldn’t keep pace with him.”
Spieth this year won $1 million for every year he has been alive—$22 million.
His victory was worth $1,485,000 at the Tour Championship, pushing his season total to a record $12,030,465.
Add to that his $10-million bonus and he went just over $22 million.
The previous record for the money title belonged to Vijay Singh, who earned $10.9 million in 2004.
The previous record for prize money and the bonus belonged to Tiger Woods in 2007, when he brought in $20,867,052.
The big difference: Woods won the first year of the FedEx Cup in 2007, when the money was deferred.
Spieth took home $9 million of the bonus in cash.
Meanwhile, if there even was a debate for PGA Tour player of the year, there isn’t now.
The ballots went out to players last night and Spieth figures to be a runaway winner. He had five wins, tied with Jason Day.
He won the Masters and the U.S. Open while Day won only the PGA Championship.
Spieth also won the money title and the Vardon Trophy for the lowest adjusted scoring average.