After Further Review: Spieth paid ultimate compliment


Each week, takes a look back at the week in golf. In this edition of After Further Review, our writers weigh in Jordan Spieth's 10-shot runaway at the Hero World Challenge, the secrecy of the Ryder Cup task force and Cheyenne Woods earning her way onto the LPGA tour next year through Q-School.

During the third round of the Hero World Challenge, announcer Roger Maltbie on the NBC telecast summarized Jordan Spieth’s game thusly: “There’s no outstanding particular strength to his game. He’s not a power hitter, he’s not the straightest hitter, he’s not the best iron player, he’s not the best putter. But when you start putting everything together and his management of a golf course and of his game, it adds up to very efficient golf.”

Full disclosure: I was on the course at the time and didn’t hear the intonation nor the context of this comment. But the reaction of many observers hinted that it was somehow disrespectful to his talent level.

Call me old-fashioned, but I’d like to believe that analyzing a player as being consistent across the board is hardly an uninformed jab. Based on the statistics, Maltbie wasn’t wrong – although Spieth’s recent putting performances could pose a future argument to the opinion that he’s “not the best.”

The truth is, explaining that a player who doesn’t bomb it like Bubba Watson or hit towering iron shots like Rory McIlroy or own a mercurial short game like Phil Mickelson can still beat the world’s best players on guts and guile is far from an insult. In some ways, it’s the ultimate compliment. - Jason Sobel

Steve Stricker, one of the most affable and accommodating PGA Tour types in front of a microphone, was asked a relatively innocent question about this week’s initial meeting of the U.S. Ryder Cup task force. His answer seemed to set the standard for how the 11-member task force plans to handle its business.

“My lips are sealed, buddy. I'm not going to be the one spilling the beans,” he smiled.

There are government secrets that aren’t as well protected as the possible contents of this week’s meeting. After enduring one its most high-profile and public losses at this year’s Ryder Cup the PGA of America plans to find the answers in private. - Rex Hoggard

The LPGA got another nice jolt Sunday to end a season filled with wonderful jolts.

Cheyenne Woods, niece to Tiger Woods, might be the only woman in the game who has the potential to “move the needle” more than Michelle Wie. Six months after Wie won the U.S. Women’s Open, Woods made news at LPGA Q-School on Sunday by winning her tour card. She’ll join the LPGA as a full member next year.

In a year where the LPGA delivered one compelling storyline after another, Q-School didn’t disappoint as an exclamation point on the year. Woods will be among a really strong rookie class joining the tour in 2015. Australia’s Minjee Lee, UCLA’s Alison Lee, Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn, England's Charley Hull, South Korea’s Ha Na Jang and Japan’s Sakura Yokomine will vie for what should be an intense battle for Rookie of the Year. - Randall Mell