An unstoppable Jordan Spieth put on a dominant display in the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in Hawaii to win by eight shots from fellow American Patrick Reed.
Jordan Spieth finished the event on 30-under-par, just one shy of the record set at Kapalua by Ernie Els in 2003. He picked up his seventh PGA Tour win and began 2016 in the perfect fashion.
“I wanted to continue what we were doing last year,” he said. “That’s the way I’ll keep on thinking about it. It worked this week, all parts were firing.”
Spieth began the final round six clear of Patrick Reed but his advantage was pegged back to three when Reed birdied the 9th hole. Spieth showed no signs of faltering though and he made birdies at the 9th and 10th holes to restore a comfortable cushion. When Reed bogeyed the 15th, his race was run.
Brooks Koepka was Spieth’s closest challenger at the start of play on Sunday, five back. But he started poorly and couldn’t recover. He ended the week in a tie for third with Brandt Snedeker.
4 Talking points from the Hyundai Tournament of Champions
1 – This was a seemingly unstoppable Jordan Spieth’s seventh PGA Tour victory in just his 77th start. He has solidified his position as the World’s Number 1 golfer ahead of Jason Day (the Australian could have overtaken him with a win at Kapaula.)
Spieth has now tied Tiger Woods in securing seven PGA Tour victories by the age of 23. However, Woods had won 18 tournaments by the time he had played 77 events on the circuit.
“A bit premature for comparisons,” said Spieth. “It would be hard to believe I could compete with him through the entire course of a career, but I’m going to try.”
2 – Patrick Reed came very near to completing a flawless week. He was bogey-free until the 15th hole of the final round where he made a six on the par-5. Although he couldn’t match Spieth’s scoring, he was happy with his week.
“If you would have told me coming into this week with the wind blowing hard the third and fourth round that I was only going to have one bogey for the week, I would have taken it,” he said.
3 – Padraig Harrington had a good week. The Irishman played four steady rounds and closed with a 67 to end the week in a tie for sixth place with Fabian Gomez and Peter Malnati. Such was the prizemoney in this limited field event, the Irishman picked up over $200,000 for his efforts: A nice start to the year.
4 – Jason Day couldn’t produce his best form to facilitate the anticipated battle with Jordan Spieth. But the Australian’s final round of 65 displayed promise, although tinged a little by rustiness owing to his having taken a lengthy break.
Day was en-route to a super low score on Sunday but failed to birdie either of the closing par-5s or take advantage on the 16th when he had a wedge in his hand on the approach.
“You can’t be three-putting and missing greens with wedges,” he said. “I need to get a lot more sharp.”
Jason Day swing sequence:
Hyundai Tournament of Champions
Plantation Course at Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii
Purse: €5,900,000, par 73
1 Jordan Spieth (USA) 66 64 65 67 262 $1,180,000
2 Patrick Reed (USA) 65 69 67 69 270 $688,000
T3 Brooks Koepka (USA) 69 68 63 71 271 $381,000
T3 Brandt Snedeker (USA) 67 72 65 67 271 $381,000
5 Rickie Fowler (USA) 69 67 69 67 272 $274,000
T6 Padraig Harrington (Ire) 70 68 70 67 275 $202,333
T6 Fabian Gomez (Arg) 68 66 70 71 275 $202,233
T6 Peter Malnati (USA) 71 66 69 69 275 $202,333
9 Kevin Kisner (USA) 69 65 71 71 276 $178,000
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage