Wednesday, June 19, 2024

The Sentry: Jordan Spieth contending due to Tiger Woods’ occasion

Jordan Spieth spent a variety of time after the 2023 Ryder Cup recuperating his ulnar nerve damage, which affected his forearm, hand, and fingers.

He didn’t swing a membership for some time all through the autumn, however he circled the primary weekend of December as a goal to return to match play.

His goal: the Hero World Problem hosted by Tiger Woods within the Bahamas.

Spieth fared decently properly there, ending in sixth within the 20-man subject. However being in rivalry within the Bahamas has allowed him to parlay that success to this week’s occasion in Maui.

“Tiger’s occasion was huge for me, simply to get on the market and into rivalry,” Spieth stated after his third spherical at The Sentry Saturday.

“Coming right here and selecting up the place I left off there may be very nice.”

Spieth carded a bogey-free 6-under 67 on Saturday to soar up the leaderboard. He now sits two strokes behind Chris Kirk, at 19-under, and solely Akshay Bhatia sits between Spieth and the lead.

Consequently, the previous world primary is aware of he should go low to win for the primary time for the reason that 2022 RBC Heritage.

“I simply assume I’ve to shoot 6-under [or more],” Spieth stated. “It’s simply loopy how the scoring is.”

The Plantation Course at Kapalua yields loads of birdies. It additionally offers nice leisure for followers to kick off every calendar yr. Spieth is aware of that, too.

“Actually, it’s simply extra enjoyable. You must play extra pictures,” he stated.

“The holes present somewhat tooth. You may run out 400 yards via fairways, so you continue to hit the motive force, however it’s important to hit a special shot [with it] to make it go shorter. It’s very odd; it’s an odd state of affairs, one that you just solely expertise right here.”

The elevation modifications on this seaside Maui course are unbelievable. From the best level on the seventeenth inexperienced to the bottom level of the property on the eighth inexperienced, a virtually 500-foot change in elevation exists.

The Sentry, PGA Tour

The 18th gap at The Plantation Course at Kapalua.
Photograph by Michael Reaves/Getty Photographs

That enables the gamers to hit almost 500-yard drives due to the plentiful downhill par-4s. However that doesn’t essentially imply the course determines who’s taking part in the very best.

“Some guys in all probability are on high of their sport, and so they simply don’t fairly make sufficient birdies or get the appropriate breaks right here,” Spieth added.

“Some guys are scoring properly however have a lot work to do. Generally, Kapalua may be that manner, at the very least for a couple of rounds, however usually, it begins to indicate itself all through a complete match. I’m positive some guys shot 4-under and felt like they performed nice and guys who shot 6-under and perhaps felt somewhat off, like myself. That’s not all the time honest, however that’s the sport.”

Golf is certainly a humorous sport, however Spieth is glad to have contended within the Bahamas earlier than this week’s occasion in Maui. Earlier than the Hero World Problem, Spieth had only one top-10 end for the reason that U.S. Open in June—a tie for sixth on the FedEx St. Jude Championship.

Nonetheless, his late-season downturn is within the rearview mirror.

Now, Spieth is delighted that his ulnar nerve damage shouldn’t be bothering him anymore—a lot in order that he has not even considered all of it week.

Nevertheless, he continues to do bodily remedy to make sure that he’s stronger than ever in 2024. Three-to-four instances per week in actual fact.

However that’s all part of his strategic recuperation course of. That, coupled together with his latest expertise within the Bahamas, might assist him get to the highest in Maui.

That may be fairly the best way to start out the brand new yr for the three-time main champion.

Jack Milko is a golf employees author for SB Nation’s Enjoying By way of. You should definitely try @_PlayingThrough for extra golf protection. You may comply with him on Twitter @jack_milko as properly.

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