LAKE FOREST, Ill. — Jordan Spieth already has won 14 times around the world, which already places him in unique territory. Over the last 75 years, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods are the only other players to have at least 10 victories and three majors before turning 25.
That’s only part of the Spieth profile.
Nearly as impressive are the 15 times he has finished runner-up, which Spieth sees more as opportunity than any measure of failure.
“I know you’re indifferent when you’re asking the question, but I think of it positively,” he said Wednesday. “There’s been that many tournaments that I’ve been in the thick of things and truly had a chance to win.”
That includes the last two FedEx Cup playoff events.
Spieth lost in a playoff on Long Island when Dustin Johnson smashed a 343-yard drive and a hit a wedge to 4 feet for birdie. Then, he was tied for the lead at the TPC Boston with five holes to play until Spieth missed two greens with long irons and Justin Thomas didn’t miss hardly anything in a three-shot victory.
There are worse times of the year to settle for second.
Those consecutive runner-up finishes elevated Spieth to No. 1 in the FedEx Cup going into the BMW Championship, and that’s not a bad place to be. He is assured of being among the top five seeds who only have to win the Tour Championship next week to capture the $10 million bonus.
“If I finish runner-up this week, unless one of two other people win, I will have accomplished the goal of being No. 1 going into East Lake,” he said.
Johnson and Thomas are the players to whom he referred, and that’s only part of the battle at Conway Farms.
The primary goal of the 70-man field is to finish in the top 30 and get to East Lake for the Tour Championship, where everyone has a mathematical shot at capturing the FedEx Cup and its lucrative prize. The top five seeds have the best odds, though Bill Haas at No. 25 won it in 2011.
Haas is on the bubble this year at No. 30, a few spots behind Jason…