Do you know what makes a great champion? Dramatic losses.
Or I should say, comebacks from dramatic losses. Muhammad Ali came back from a devastating loss to Joe Frazier, just as Joe Louis came back from a huge loss to Max Schmeling.
We love the Boston Red Sox because we remember — or at least have heard of — their monumental collapse during the 1986 World Series.
This is why we love Jordan Spieth. Sometimes he plays like us, such as the 13th hole of the 2017 British Open. Other times, he plays like Tiger Woods, such as every other hole of the 2017 British Open.
At age 23, he’s won three majors. But he’s also lost two when it looked like he was on his way to a win. His bogey on the 17th hole of the 2015 British Open kept him out of the playoff and ruined his chances of a potential one-year Grand Slam, since he had won both the Master’s and the U.S. Open that year.
But that wasn’t the devastating loss.
The big choke came during the 2016 Master’s when Speith, leading by 5 strokes, bogied the 10th and 11th holes. Then on the 12th, the wheels came off. He hit two balls into the water on the par-3 hole and earned a quadruple-bogey. He finished in second place, 3 shots behind eventual winner Danny Willett.
That’s a 7 score on a par-3 hole. Even I can do that. Sometimes I can do better. And I love that a pro golfer, a great pro golfer, a 23-year-old pro golfer, pretty much played the hole the same way I would have.
And you love it too. Especially if you play golf on the weekends like I do (poorly).
And he played like me during the 13th hole of the last round of Sunday’s British Open. But then he played the last four holes like Tiger Woods. Hell, even better than Tiger Woods — birdie, eagle, birdie, and the 18th in par when a bogey would have won it.
Jordan Spieth is a roller coaster ride, and I love watching him. Bet you do too.