Is Spieth even better than we think?

By Jay CoffinJanuary 9, 2016, 4:03 am

KAPALUA, Hawaii – What if the Jordan Spieth train keeps moving forward with the greatest of ease? What if, as Spieth suggested earlier in the week, this is just a continuation of 2015 and he collects another five-plus PGA Tour victories and a major or two? Or three?

What if we haven’t seen Spieth’s best?

Sure, that’s a lot of ifs, and if ifs and buts were candy and nuts, we’d all have a Merry Christmas. Or something ridiculous like that.

The calendar year is only two competitive days old and we’ve seen nothing to suggest Spieth is going to do anything other than what he’s been doing.

We’re quick to compare Spieth with Tiger Woods, and often it seems unfair, yet we continue to see Tiger-like things from the 22-year-old Texan. We’re witnessing a man who is seemingly in contention after every round, is the ultimate grinder, drives it great, hits it close and makes every putt he needs to make. He has no weakness.

Spieth followed a first-round 66 with a 9-under-par 64 Friday at Kapalua to take a four-shot lead into the weekend at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. He hasn’t made a bogey, hasn’t recorded a three-putt and the last two men to reach 16 under par after 36 holes (David Duval 1999, Ernie Els 2003) both won.

Hyundai Tournament of Champions: Articles, photos and videos

“I am extremely pleased with where it’s at to start the season,” Spieth said of his form.

Spieth has played six rounds at Kapalua and has been either first or second after all six. All six career rounds at Kapalua have been under par. If he wins this week it would be his seventh PGA Tour title, which would tie Woods for most Tour wins before age 23 in the modern era. (Horton Smith collected his 14th win in 1930, when he was 22.)

Remember when the collective “we” were nervous when Spieth missed consecutive cuts at The Barclays and Deutsche Bank last fall and believed he was tired from the rigors of such a long, draining season? Yeah, me neither.

Since that point Spieth has played 22 competitive rounds, his highest score is 72, his lowest is 63 and his scoring average is a touch below 68 (67.82). 

The second round here at the Tournament of Champions was another clinical execution. Spieth was 3 under after eight holes then chipped in for eagle from 40 feet on the par-5 ninth hole. He nearly holed out his approach on the 13th hole and followed that birdie with two more on 14 and 15. Spieth made par saves from 5 and 7 feet respectively on the next two holes, then made a birdie from 14 feet on the final hole when his ball sat on the edge of the cup for a second before dropping in for a 64.

“He led the Tour in putts made from 20-25 feet [in 2015],” Butch Harmon said on Golf Channel’s telecast. “At one time he was making 33 percent of his putts from 20-25 feet. Even Nicklaus and Tiger, the two greatest pressure putters we’ve ever seen, weren’t doing that.

“This guy makes a lot of birdies everywhere. He’s unbelievable.”

Kevin Kisner, who along with Fabian Gomez is in second place, will play alongside Spieth in Saturday’s third round. Kisner said he really tried to work on only one thing during the short offseason.

“Putt like Jordan.”

If Kisner putts like Spieth over the next 36 holes, it’s likely Kisner still won’t catch him. Spieth is at 16 under par, meaning 32 under par is absolutely doable around this behemoth that he says has produced the slowest greens he’s ever putted on in his brief Tour career.

“I mean, it would be a great goal to try and achieve [32 under] and I think if I got there, it would make for a stress-free finish,” Spieth said.

If. There’s that word again.

Getty Images

Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

Getty Images

Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.

Playing with the pros

Tiger, DJ and Faxon

Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

Rory faces criticism

Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'

President at the Presidents Cup

Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump

Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73

Cart on the green

Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green

Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open

Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National

Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open

Trump golf properties


Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers

Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover

Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up

Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm