Spieth will leave Texas early, turn professional

Jordan Spieth with Texas at the Isleworth Collegiate.

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Texas sophomore Jordan Spieth has announced that he is turning professional. Spieth, 19, was Big 12 Player of the Year and a first-team All-American in his first year with the Longhorns, and helped guide the team to an NCAA Championship.

Spieth failed to advance out of the second stage of PGA Tour Q-School on Nov. 16.

“The decision to turn pro was a difficult one, but I’m looking forward to the challenge of competing at the highest level and accomplishing the many goals I’ve set for myself on and off the course,” Spieth said. “I owe everything I’ve achieved thus far to the support of my family, friends, teammates, and the University of Texas. While I’m proud of what my teammates and I have accomplished, I couldn’t be more excited to fulfill my lifelong dream of becoming a professional golfer.”

Spieth is the only player other than Tiger Woods to win multiple U.S. Junior titles. Spieth won the 2009 and 2011 titles

He has made the cut in five of eight PGA Tour starts, including two top-25 finishes. He was low amateur (T-21) at this year’s U.S. Open, and contended at the 2010 Byron Nelson Championship while only 16 years old.

Spieth has signed with agent Jay Danzi of Forefront Management. Danzi told Golfweek that no sponsorship deals or sponsor exemptions into PGA Tour events have been finalized yet. “There’s been a lot of interest,” Danzi said. “Over the next few weeks we will be finalizing both corporate arrangements and an exemption schedule.”

Sponsor exemptions will be hard to come by in 2013. The standard Tour event will have just two unrestricted sponsor exemptions (invitations that can go to non-members) because of the condensed PGA Tour schedule that will run from January to September. Non-members are limited to seven sponsor exemptions per season.

Spieth also was a member of the 2011 U.S. Walker Cup team, where he was undefeated and held the R&A’s No. 1 World Amateur ranking earlier this year.

“Jordan Spieth is a remarkable young man,” said Texas head coach John Fields. “Though he is leaving early, he has left a positive, indelible mark on The University of Texas and our program. Jordan is first class - first class as a student, first class as a teammate. We will certainly miss him, but our future remains bright, and like him, this is a new beginning for all of us.”

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