So Jordan Spieth has a new addition to his impressive repertoire of victories with a stellar course-record 63 at the Australian Open. In a round that resulted in scoring 13 under par and featured no less than 8 birdies, clinching a second Championship title for Spieth and securing him qualification in the 2015 Open Championship.
As if this wasn't reason enough for us to do a little dance? He's the first American to win this Open since Brad Faxon did so 1993.
And yes. That would be the same 1993 that Spieth was born.
He's young. Exceptionally talented. Very watchable. He's already on most folk's radars for being a runner-up in this year's Masters. Not bad for a lad of his age.
So why can't we just let him enjoy it?
Like any young athlete to quickly climb the ladder of notoriety in his chosen sport, Spieth runs the risk of transcending it. Becoming more synonymous with golf to the viewing public than the tournaments themselves. That is a lot of expectation for one individual. Irrespective of how intelligent and well-balanced they are (and he is. Quite obviously.)
The talk has started already. The hype. Yes, he had a runner-up finish in the Masters in his first year since turning pro-but does his mean we get to peg him as a multiple winner? A record breaker in every Open? Can't we just let him relish this stunning achievement and let him decide where it's going to take him next?
Social networking is a wonderful tool. It allows fans to reach out to players and vice versa. But it's something every fan can utilise at any time day or night. And what must the pressure of being on the receiving of that feel like? The incessant nature of it? To spend hour after hour on the golf course, only to then to go back to your hotel and spend hours and hours wading through tweets both to you and about you?
To have people speculate on your future earnings-and of course, like any young American player-to be constantly measured by the ultimate yardstick. Is he the next Tiger Woods?
The world is shrinking. It gets smaller daily. The line between an athlete and their fans is now stretched to gossamer thin. Anyone can find you anywhere. Every move you make both on the course and off? Recorded on stranger's mobile phones for posterity. Spieth will continue as he did through college to live a life massively atypical of a man his young age. His social life must now remain even more restricted as the rest of the world watches.
Can't we at least let him have his freedom on the golf course? The freedom he will now never have elsewhere? And the freedom of letting his future dreams be his own? Rather than demanding he quantify them to us, fresh off the back of his latest victory?
I would love to see Jordan Spieth go on to achieve greatness in every Tour. And yes, even transcend the sport to become a legend. Not to be the next Tiger Woods. But the first Jordan Speith.
But truly? Most of all? I would like to be surprised when he does. Because that's what we lose when we insist on hyping up an individual player in our excitement and need to create a sporting hero. The element of shock and awe is forever lost.
And really, that's a shame for Jordan and a shame for us.Suggest a correction