It’s the comparison that everyone in the golf world can’t wait to make: Is Jordan Spieth the new Tiger Woods? Spieth’s dominating performance at last week’s Tournament of Champions has only increased the desire to set the two side by side; it’s his seventh win on the PGA Tour, and Woods and Horton Smith are the only other golfers to win seven times before turning 23.
While many, including Spieth himself, have dismissed the comparison, Woods’ old swing coach Butch Harmon thinks it’s perfectly valid.
Harmon told GolfChannel.com that it’s “not unfair” to compare Jordan and Tiger “because Jordan is doing exactly what Tiger did at the same age.” He also thinks that Spieth shares Woods’ putting abilities, mental toughness and unshakeable work ethic.
What separates the two, according to Harmon, is a matter of driving distance.
“Tiger could physically take over a golf course with his driver better than Jordan can,” he said. But Harmon praised Spieth’s decision to stick with coach Cameron McCormick and the same swing, saying that tinkering in pursuit of greater power isn’t necessarily a good idea. “What I really admire about Jordan and his instructor Cameron McCormick is they really haven’t tried to gain more distance. Everybody has their own swing that is personal to them and the secret to teaching is you don’t want to take away what someone does naturally.”