It all started in San Francisco in June of 2012.

A 19-year-old Jordan Spieth rallied over the weekend in the U.S. Open at The Olympic Club to earn the low amateur title. It was a feather in the hat to cap off an amateur golf career that was second to almost none, outside of Tiger Woods.

To “play some of the best golf I had ever played in my life on Saturday and Sunday of the U.S. Open was definitely a big confidence boost that allowed me to really get comfortable with my decision to turn pro,” said Spieth, who tees off Thursday in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. “I ended up waiting for another six months or so, but it was definitely a week that is very significant in my career.”

Spieth finished his rookie season tied with Brandt Snedeker and Bill Haas for most top-10 finishes on tour with nine. As he prepares for his second go-round at the AT&T Pro-Am, the 2013 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year thinks he will only improve as his second pro season continues.

“I was able to sort of feed off of course knowledge at Torrey Pines (at the Farmers Insurance Open two weeks ago) a little better than I was last year in new places,” Spieth said. “So I feel like this year, even though (the AT&T Pro-Am) is three courses, I will be able to draw back on certain places not to miss or know where to leave the ball.”


Confidence isn't something Spieth lacks, on or off the course. After winning the 2013 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year, he said he feels like a veteran in his sophomore campaign.

“It's nerves and it's also the way I'm preparing, course preparation,” Spieth said. “When you play a year on tour, even though so many golf courses are so different, there's still places in college golf where I would fire at the pins and I'm learning that you can't do that.”

Success has followed Spieth since his debut playing at a PGA Tour event. As a 16-year-old, the Dallas native contended at the 2010 Byron Nelson Championship before finishing tied for 16th. That was between winning the U.S. Junior Amateur championship in 2009 and 2011, joining Woods as the only golfer to win the title multiple times. As a Texas Longhorn, Spieth won an NCAA Championship in addition to being named a first-team All America and Big 12 Conference Player of the Year as a sophomore.

Spieth had to earn his way, with no PGA Tour status as he went pro in December 2012. He didn't shy away from the competition. Last July, Spieth became the youngest player to win on the PGA Tour (19 years, 11 months, 18 days) since Ralph Guldahl (19 years, 8 months, 3 days) in 1931.

“Having won an event and then playing against the best players in the world and competed, versus last year at this time (when I was) trying to sneak inside the ropes without being caught and told that I was a teenager trying to get in with the pros — in that sense — it's different when I step on the course,” he said.

If Spieth's meteoric rise continues, it shouldn't be long before Woods and Phil Mickelson start watching their backs. He is a favorite this weekend and should be viewed as one of the favorites at every event he attends this season.

Spieth got his opportunity at the 2012 U.S. Open after Snedeker withdrew because of an injury. The 2013 AT&T Pro-Am champion sounded convinced that Spieth is on track to be golf's next superstar.

“He's a very mature 20-year-old,” Snedeker said. “He's got a great head on his shoulders. He plays like a 40-year-old veteran out here. ... The kid's got a lot of talent and a lot of heart and I love seeing kids that are like that, that want to compete.”