Jordan Spieth spent a lot of time after the 2023 Ryder Cup recuperating his ulnar nerve injury, which affected his forearm, hand, and fingers.
He did not swing a club for a while throughout the fall, but he circled the first weekend of December as a target to return to tournament play.
His target: the Hero World Challenge hosted by Tiger Woods in the Bahamas.
Spieth fared decently well there, finishing in sixth in the 20-man field. But being in contention in the Bahamas has allowed him to parlay that success to this week’s event in Maui.
“Tiger’s event was big for me, just to get out there and into contention,” Spieth said after his third round at The Sentry Saturday.
“Coming here and picking up where I left off there is really 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 only Akshay Bhatia sits between Spieth and the lead.
Driver off the deck for @JordanSpieth ��
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) January 6, 2024
Consequently, the former world number one knows he must go low to win for the first time since the 2022 RBC Heritage.
“I just assume I have to shoot 6-under [or more],” Spieth said. “It’s just crazy how the scoring is.”
The Plantation Course at Kapalua yields plenty of birdies. It also provides great entertainment for fans to kick off each calendar year. Spieth knows that, too.
“Honestly, it’s just more fun. You have to play more shots,” he said.
“The holes show a little teeth. You can run out 400 yards through fairways, so you still hit the driver, but you have to hit a different shot [with it] to make it go shorter. It’s very odd; it’s an odd scenario, one that you only experience here.”