The incredible rise of Jordan Spieth

Jordan Spieth has been on fire in 2013. (USATSI)
Jordan Spieth has been on fire in 2013. (USATSI)

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Jordan Spieth is playing in The Barclays and he's a 40-1 favorite to win the thing. That's better than Bubba Watson, Jim Furyk, Charl Schwartzel, and Luke Donald

At the beginning of 2013 Spieth wasn't even a PGA Tour member. 

So how did we get here?

Let's take a look at Spieth's career timeline:

July 2009 -- Age 15

Wins US Junior Amateur -- The photo of young(er) Spieth is spectacular.

May 2010 -- Age 16

Plays Byron Nelson Championship -- I remember this happening because I had just moved to Dallas and I heard about Spieth's trek on the radio and I though "a 16-year-old, wow." This was all pre-Guan Tianlang of course. Spieth finished a ridiculous 16th place that year.

July 2011 -- Age 17

Wins US Junior Amateur -- There are two multiyear winners of the U.S. Junior Amateur: Jordan Spieth and Tiger Woods.

June 2012 -- Age 18

Wins NCAA team title at Texas -- He was a first team All-American and Big 12 player of the year that year as well.

June 2012 -- Age 18

Plays US Open as an amateur -- He finished 21st at the event, the low amateur, finally overtaking Beau Hossler on the final day.

June 2012 -- Age 18

Becomes No. 1 amateur in the world -- This was after the US Open and only because Patrick Cantlay turned pro.

December 2012 -- Age 19

Turns pro -- The problem with turning pro in December is that Q School is already over so Spieth would have to try and survive on sponsor exemptions.

Rank: No. 810 in the world

February 2013 -- Age 19 

Makes first cut as pro -- Spieth finished T22 at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am. To start the year he would only get seven sponsor exemptions but if he earned over $490,000 he would receive an unlimited number of them because of a complex special exemptions rule.

Rank: No. 692 in the world

March 2013 -- Age 19

Gets special exemption -- He finished T7 at the Tampa Bay Championship which tipped him over the $490,000 mark and gave him special exemption for the year which meant unlimited sponsor exemptions but still no official PGA Tour status and no FedEx Cup points.

Rank: No. 215 in the world

July 2013 -- Age 19

Wins John Deere Classic -- All of a sudden Spieth went from no PGA Tour status to full time status AND because you get to retroactively count your FedEx Cup points he shot to the top 15 of the FedEx Cup race.

Rank: No. 59 in the world

August 2013 -- Age 20

Finishes second at Wyndham Championship -- The second place finish didn't mean that much, though it was his seventh of the year -- tied for third most on Tour. It took him to seventh in the FedEx Cup points race as well.

Rank: No. 36 in the world

And that brings us back to the fact that he's one of the favorites at the first FedEx Cup playoff events this weekend at the Barclays.

Not bad for a dude who was still kicking it at the dorms in Austin, Texas a year ago from right now.

For more golf news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnGolf and @KylePorterCBS on Twitter or Google+ and like us on Facebook.

CBS Sports Writer

Kyle Porter began his sports writing career with CBS Sports in 2012. He covers golf, writes poetry about Rory McIlroy's swing, stays ready on Tiger watch and loves the Masters more than anyone you know.... Full Bio

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