This time last year, golf was basking in the "Era of McIlroy," as Rory entered 2015 off back-to-back major victories. The Irishman was the sport's new emperor; this own publication deemed McIlroy "the model for greatness."
McIlroy's fame cast a major shadow over his fellow competitors. From this darkness emerged a fledgling Jordan Spieth.
By no means was Spieth an unknown entity heading into 2015. He finished second at the 2014 Masters, had appeared in the Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup, and was ranked 13th in the world rankings.
Conversely, he was far from a sure-fire superstar; in 64 career PGA Tour starts before the 2015 Valspar Championship, Spieth had just one victory.
What a difference a year can make.
In the last 52 weeks, Spieth has:
Won six tournaments: The Valspar Championship, the Masters, the U.S. Open, the John Deere Classic and Tour Championship in 2015; the Hyundai Tournament of Champions this January.
Finished second four times, most notably at the PGA Championship. Spieth also finished one shot out of a playoff at the British Open, and had 15 top-10 showings on the season.
Notched over $12 million in earnings, plus a $10 million bonus for his FedEx Cup victory.
Claimed the No. 1 title in the world rankings.
Knocked Tiger Woods from the top spot in Golf Digest's Top Earners list. Woods had held the crown for the previous 13 years.
Bought a ridiculous mansion with an indoor basketball court and Augusta National mural.
Won the Byron Nelson Award, Vardon Trophy and PGA Tour Player of the Year.
Was a member of the winning U.S. Presidents Cup team.
And perhaps most shocking of all...
- Turned 22 years old.
The same age as most college seniors.
It will be interesting to check back with Spieth this time next season. After all, you never know what can happen in a year.