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Jordan Spieth closed the 2017 Tournament of Champions in Kapalua, Hawaii, with a flourish, but it was likely too late for the 23-year-old to begin the new year in winning fashion.
Spieth posted an eight-under 65 in the final round to finish at 16 under par. Despite his impressive play Sunday, he remained five shots behind tournament leader Justin Thomas when he headed for the clubhouse.
Through the first three rounds, a small handful of mistakes had an overwhelming impact for Spieth.
According to the PGA Tour’s official website, he reached 32 of 45 fairways off the tee and 46 of 54 greens in regulation. He had two bogeys in Round 1 and three in Round 3, however, as well as a double bogey and a triple bogey in Round 2.
Golf Channel broke down his overall performance:
27 eagles/birdies = 😀
3 others = ☹
Still looking like a Top 5 finish for Spieth in his 2017 debut. pic.twitter.com/mNqQtxTcp1
— Golf Channel (@GolfChannel) January 8, 2017
On Sunday, everything clicked for Spieth. He had his only bogey-free round of the Tournament of Champions, and he had the lowest score of the day when he walked off the course.
Spieth got off to a strong start with birdies on Nos. 3, 5 and 9, and his best work came on the back nine. He reeled off four straight birdies between the 12th and 15th holes and wrapped up the event with a birdie on No. 18.
A beautiful approach set up his final birdie. His shot initially landed well right of the pin but rolled to within roughly 21 feet of the cup.
The PGA Tour shared a replay of the approach:
When Jordan Spieth hears he needs to eagle 18 for the low-round of the week …#QuickHits pic.twitter.com/K2zSOWZdD8
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) January 8, 2017
Spieth will likely be disappointed with his performance after beating Patrick Reed by eight strokes in Kapalua last year, but the two-time major champion can take plenty of positives away from the tournament as a whole.
Spieth will play next at the Sony Open, which tees off Thursday at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu, according to Rex Hoggard of Golf Channel. Hoggard noted Spieth has played in Honolulu on only one occasion, missing the cut after going one over through the opening two rounds in 2014.
The Sony Open will be a nice opportunity for Spieth to correct some of the mistakes he made in the Tournament of Champions and continue building momentum ahead of the Masters in April.