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Divot doom and plug problems! Jordan Spieth’s luck was out at the Sentry

The gods weren’t smiling on Jordan Spieth as he met wrong turn after wrong turn in the final round at Kapalua…

 

Jordan Spieth needed a mulligan or two (or three) in the final round of the Sentry Tournament of Champions.

The entertaining American met multiple stumbling blocks while tussling with Chris Kirk and Sahith Theegala in pursuit of his 14th win on the PGA Tour.

The dramatic slope changes of the Plantation Course often cause balls to finish in collection areas in the fairway, or “funnel” as Spieth put it.

His ball was so magnetised to Harris English’s on the par-5 15th hole that he marked and moved it, only to replace it in a worse spot after his playing partner took his blow.

The three-time major champion’s day took another unfortunate turn on 16 when his ball plugged under the lip of a fairway bunker.

He overcame the 15th hole setback with a birdie, but this one brought a bogey, followed by finding another divot on hole 17.

“I was in a double divot on 15. I was in a divot but Harry’s ball was right behind mine and I had to place it into his divot, so it was even deeper. Then I plugged it, and then I was in a divot on 17,” he explained.

“So, 16, I missed my line – I should have had a pretty good look at birdie, I would have had less in than what I had for my third if I hit my drive where I wanted to.

“The others were certainly tough breaks because they were balls that hit in the fairway and funnelled into it. Out here balls funnel into the same spots a lot, it’s not uncommon to be in divots.

“It kind of stunk that it was three holes in a row, but the plug is what cost me a full shot. I still played the others just fine.”

Not one for excuses, Spieth plugged away to finish outright third. He carded 8-under-par on Sunday to finish two shots off Chris Kirk, who won the event on an astronomic 29-under-par.

Kirk, who won the Honda Classic last season, made crucial birdies on 15 and 17 to take his sixth tour title.

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Jordan Spieth: Sentry Tournament of Champions shows signs of spark in 2024

We won’t see the 30-year-old now until the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am at the start of February, an event he has won before and will arrive at again full of confidence.

“I thought that I started on Thursday morning thinking that I do have a chance at winning this golf tournament. I have not been putting in the time that I would like to, and I should be able to here over the next few weeks before it starts to get heavy,” he added.

“It was kind of a one-off tournament, I now have a little break and I’m really glad to feel like I got a little house money as I go into the heavier part of the season, and feel like I’m trending in the right direction.

“There’s nothing but optimism about what the season can bring at this point, regardless of what I’m trying to do off the course.”

Spieth has banked two wins in the last three years on tour, having experienced a four-year winless drought after winning The Open Championship in 2017.

The former World No.1 dropped outside of the top 90 in the world in 2021 – arguably the lowest point of his uncharacteristic slump.

2023 was more the Spieth of old and the present. He lost in a playoff to Matt Fitzpatrick at the RBC Heritage and made seven other top 10s, showing form that helped him qualify for his fifth Ryder Cup.

NOW READ: What’s in Jordan Spieth’s bag?

NOW READ: Justin Rose suffers rare rules blunder at Sentry Tournament of Champions

What type of Jordan Spieth PGA Tour season are you expecting in 2024? Tell us on X/Twitter!

Matt Chivers

Matt Chivers

Now on the wrong side of 25, Matt has been playing golf since the age of 13 and was largely inspired to take up the game by countless family members who played golf during his childhood.

Matt is a member at Royal Cinque Ports in Deal playing off a 5 handicap, just a pitching wedge away from his hometown of Dover where he went to school and grew up. He has previously been a member at Etchinghill and Walmer and Kingsdown in Kent.

Having studied history at the University of Liverpool, Matt went on to pass his NCTJ Exams in Manchester a year later to fulfil his lifelong ambition of becoming a journalist. He picked up work experience along the way at places such as the Racing Post, the Independent, Sportsbeat and the Lancashire Evening Post.

Matt joined NCG in February 2023 and is the website’s main source of tour news, features and opinion. He has reported live from events such as The Open, the Ryder Cup and The Players Championship, having also interviewed and spent time with some of the biggest names in the sport.

Consuming tour golf on what is a 24/7 basis, you can come to Matt for informed views on the game and the latest updates on the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA Tour, Ladies European Tour and LIV Golf.

What’s in Matt’s bag: Cobra LTDx LS driver, Cobra LTDx 3-wood, TaylorMade P7MC irons, Ping Glide 4.0 wedges, Odyssey putter.

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