Spieth v McIlroy: Could this be golf’s great new rivalry?

Mark Townsend assesses what looks set to become the sport's next great rivalry

When Rory McIlroy dismantled the field at Valhalla in last year’s PGA for a third straight win and fourth Major, plenty of us quickly ticked off the 2015 Masters and career Grand Slam.

It is all too easy in golf to get carried away with the latest triumph. One week in the sun (and the headlines) and all of a sudden we have another worldbeater on our hands.

Was Chambers Bay a USGA mistake?

Then it’s another week, there’s another winner and our attentions move on again.

It’s Major wins that really ramp up the hyperbole, making us forget just how hard it is to win one in the first place.

They don’t just happen by knocking on the proverbial door long enough – just ask Lee Westwood or Monty.

And then we, and Rory, have to wait eight months from the end of one Major season to the start of the next one.

McIlroy has hardly stalled in his pursuit of increasing brilliance: a win in Dubai preceded a Masters tilt which finished with his best showing (4th) after he was in danger of missing the cut at one point.

What’s in Jordan Spieth’s US Open winning bag?

But our heads have now been turned in the direction of Spieth, with one item of clothing that Rory’s wardrobe is missing.

The 21-year old Texan has added to a dominant Masters victory with a win on some of the most difficult golfing conditions at Chambers Bay.

At Chambers Bay Rory’s US Open was not dissimilar to his Masters performance. 

Jordan Spieth halfway to Major Grand Slam

It seems he is still learning how to arrive at these weeks in a state of equilibrium.

Spieth on the other hand is relishing the chance to take on some of the world’s best courses and shows no fear when faced with any putting task asked of him.

He is proving with each win, that he is the real deal.

The tale of the tape

Jordan Spieth


Age: 21
Majors: 2
Professional wins: 6
First pro win: John Deere Classic
2013 (age 19)
Ryder Cup record: P4 W2 H1 L1
Highest amateur ranking: No 1
(five weeks 2012)
Twitter followers: 346k
Driving distance: 292.5 (63rd)
Total driving: 34th
Strokes gained putting: 0.801
Greens In Reg: 66.6% (81st)

Rory McIlroy


Age: 25
Majors: 4
Professional wins: 16
First pro win: Dubai Desert
Classic 2009 (age 19)
Ryder Cup record: P14 W6 H4 L4
Highest amateur ranking: No 1
(one week 2007)
Twitter followers: 2.39m
Driving distance: 310.5 (3rd)
Total driving: 16th
Strokes gained putting: 0.273
Greens In Reg: 69.44 (6th)
What do you think? Will this become one of World Sport’s great rivalry’s?

Have your say in the comment section below.

Previous article
Next article