Originally Posted by Ernest Jones
I believe, were he to express himself more eloquently, he meant to say, "Obviously nobody knows the future, but those accomplishments (a win in his first year and a runner-up finish in his first Masters) are impressive for someone his age."
One thing to keep in mind is that Spieth and some of the other younger players have nowhere near the dominance Tiger Woods had at that stage of his career. Tiger Woods won his first Masters in 1997 at the age of 21, by 12 shots while breaking the tournament scoring record. This was also during his second year as a professional golfer. In addition to these accomplishments, Tiger became the #1 ranked golfer in the world just two months after winning that masters. There we articles and columns about Tiger Woods and how he was going to render golf courses obsolete. A statistician form UC Berkeley (an economist to be precise) found that whenever Woods was present in the field, meaning that he had the same sort of mental effect on the very professionals who played the game near his level. His pro debut was on August 29- September 1st, and his first win was within a little over a month on October 6th. He won again for the second time in that month on October 20th, wrapping up with a third win before his first major on January 12th. These wins were against the big names of the time as well, Davis Love III, Payne Stewart, and Tom Lehman were the runners up in those tournaments. When going into the final round of a major with a share of the lead or better, Tiger has only lost once. Compare that to the multitudes (usually two to four a year in the past few years) that have led starting the final day and stumbled to come in second or worse.
I don't see any of this from the new players, but it getting to a generation of people who grew up watching Tiger play and dreamed of playing against (and beating) him. While it's impressive that Jordan Spieth has done well in tournaments and won one in his first year on tour, Tiger Woods had won 6 tournaments, including a major, before August 29th rolled around again. Rory McIlroy turned pro on September 18th, 2007 and didn't win until 2010. Since then he's won six tournaments in twice the time Tiger won his first six, albeit with two majors instead of one rolled in.
Correction: Rory McIlroy first won on the European Tour in 2009, still two years after his pro debut, and won five tournaments in Europe bringing his grand total to 11 in the first seven years compared to Tiger having more than 30 titles in the same amount of time.
My point here is that the players today just don't have as groundbreaking an impact as Tiger Woods did when he first started out. The competition is tougher, and it makes it near impossible for someone without freakish levels of talent to rise above the rest in the same way that Tiger Woods did when he first turned pro. While some may argue that Tiger's career was a bright fizzle and others think that he still has more left, it is a fact that he left a mark on golf history that won't be easily overshadowed by future accomplishments of others.