KAPALUA, Hawaii – For Jordan Spieth, the goal is simple: Get to 30 under par.
“I think it would be really cool,” he said Saturday after putting the finishing touches on an 8-under 65, good for a five-shot lead over Brooks Koepka heading into the final round of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. “I would set that as my target.”
Spieth is at 24 under par now. He shot 26 under at the 2014 Hero World Challenge and beat Henrik Stenson by 10 shots and says that’s the best 72-hole score he’s ever shot. Ernie Els recorded a tournament-best 31 under par at Kapalua in 2003.
“That would be a fantastic goal and one that I should win the tournament if that happens,” Spieth said.
More than winning, Spieth was asked what it would mean to his opposition if he were to pull off a victory in the first tournament of the calendar year.
“Each time someone’s beaten me head to head in a close match, it’s in my head that they have already done that,” he said. “If I’m in contention with Bubba, I’ll think about the last time I was in contention with Bubba in the 2014 Masters.
“If I win tomorrow, there’s just a little extra, when you’re in contention again, people thinking, ‘OK, he knows how to close, right? He can close the deal.' It just puts a little bit more pressure to be aggressive and to have to do more than you really have to do.
“Guys who you know have pulled off shots and putts to win just seem like mentally they’re a little harder to beat.”