In less than 48 hours after winning the Masters, Jordan Spieth has done Letterman, he’s done the cover of Sports Illustrated and he’s done about, oh, a million interviews – give or take two or three.
And he has no intention of slowing down.
“It’s been a little bit of a whirlwind,” Spieth told Damon Amendolara, who was filling in as host of CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “It’s been amazing. Great experience. And now (I’m) enjoying a media tour in New York.”
Amendolara wondered if the media tour is a bigger distraction for Spieth than playing the Masters. After all, golf is what Spieth does best – and he showed it this past weekend, tying the tournament record with an 18-under 270. But a media tour? This is all new for the 21-year-old.
“It’s just so different,” Spieth said. “This is exciting. It’s cool to be introduced as Masters champion. It helps it sink in a little bit. To be able to share the experience of the week with other people and kind of giving insight, I think it’s awesome. It’s something that past champions have done. I’ve really enjoyed listening to their experiences, and it’s amazing – the similarities and the differences.”
Spieth even had a chance to meet former President Bill Clinton and chat with him for a few minutes.
“That was exciting,” said Spieth, who was born the year Clinton took office.
Spieth, to his credit, seems to be taking all the attention in stride, perhaps because he’s more used to it than someone from, say, 20 or 30 years ago would have been. This is simply the social-media world in which he was raised.
“Yeah, I think so,” Spieth said. “Certainly any preparation is good preparation, and any experience is good experience. This is quite a bit different, but at the same time, it’s extremely exciting. It’s something that I’ve seen other players do and talk to them about, and it’s cool to have it myself.”
Spieth, who set, broke or shattered numerous Masters records this past weekend, said he felt confident entering the tournament but tried not to get ahead of himself.
“I felt really good going into this week,” he said. “In my mind, it was, ‘Let’s get ourselves in contention and see what we have.’ I never thought about the outcome of any of the majors this year. After competing last year and having a chance to win, I knew that I could put myself in the right position come Sundays. But in order to close it, I still didn’t have any experience with that at a major championship. So I just needed to kind of rely on past experiences in other tournaments. And coming into this one, (I) had a lot of momentum and a chip on my shoulder from last year and a lot of my momentum from the few tournaments leading up to it – and that combination led to getting into contention and understanding the mentality needed to stay ahead.”
Spieth, now the No. 2-ranked golfer in the world, will be expected to contend for a championship in every major or tournament in the foreseeable future – at least from the outside looking in.
“I don’t read or watch much,” Spieth said. “The expectations are only that of what I put on myself, and I’m just going to keep on trying to raise the bar even higher. There are certainly more things to achieve, and as long as I stay focused on my own goals, then the rest takes care of itself.”
If Spieth seems grounded, that’s because he is. His inspiration is his 14-year-old sister, Ellie, who has autism. Spieth said she influences him in “such a positive way.”
“It doesn’t matter to her whether you won or lost,” he said. “It doesn’t change her view on our family – not that it should or not that it would with anybody. But it puts things into perspective a little bit.”
Spieth will sometimes come home frustrated if he doesn’t perform up to his standards on the golf course, but all he has to do is talk to Ellie, who is always excited to see him and just wants to hang out and go places with him.
“None of the downfalls of what we do really kick in with her,” Spieth said. “Only the positives – and that’s awesome.”
With his first major championship under his belt, Spieth has his eyes set on becoming the top-ranked golfer in the world.
“That’s the ultimate goal,” he said. “Obviously winning the Masters is specifically a goal for one tournament and my favorite tournament in the world. But to combine that with other good finishes and hopefully other major championships, to then achieve that ultimate goal would be incredible. That would be when you reach the pinnacle of our sport. Rory is there right now, and he’s not letting up, so it’s going to take something special and a lot more hard work by our team. But we made a big step two days ago.”