Sony Open: Jordan Spieth wants Hawaii swing to be an annual regular step

Jordan Spieth has become a fixture in Hawaii over the last couple years, and he’s just fine with that.

“I’d like to make these two weeks a regular step every year,” Spieth said Wednesday at his press conference ahead of this week’s Sony Open. “I really enjoy this golf course. The first year I played it, I didn’t — you actually have to learn quite a bit of how to map yourself around this place, and the ball rolls a lot more here than it did any place else, and I tried to do a little too much.

“I remember hitting driver, 3 wood a lot the first year I played it and missed the cut. Then last year played pretty smart, didn’t putt very well.”

Spieth has recorded four straight top 10s in Hawaii, including a solo third here last year. Last week’s Tournament of Champions was played on a course where players can just grip it and rip it. But Waialae Country Club is much more finesse.

“You have to work the ball both ways more,” Spieth said. “Last week you can kind of pick a ball flight and hit whatever you wanted. Here you have to kind of work even irons off the tees a certain direction on one hole and hit a 3 wood the next hole that works the other way. You’ve got to pick smaller, more specific targets here and think a little bit more than you do at Kapalua.

“Kapalua is more of a feel, judge off the lies, work with what the lie gives you and the wind gives you in order to hit those big greens and put yourself in a position to make birdies. Yeah, I think it will be a better gauge (for where my game is) this week.”

Last year, Spieth was grouped with Justin Thomas in Round 1 when he shot a 59, and eventually went on to win. Spieth remembers the day, and that he played pretty good himself.

“The most surprising thing was that I was like a stroke and a half or something better tee to green than he was that round, and I got beat by like seven shots,” Spieth said. “It was really, really cool to see. It was pretty amazing. You get these — we’ve all had these rounds where we kind of get it going through nine, ten holes, but in order to keep that going and actually cap it off into a 59, I’ve never witnessed that in my life.

“It was really cool being J.T. and being in the same group and being able to kind of root for him on that last green. I think I might have fist pumped harder than he did. I think he was kind of in the zone. I don’t think he knew where he was at the time. But it was a really special day and a really special couple weeks for him that capped off an incredible year — or that started an incredible year.”

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