Spieth finds fight but misses cut at Sony Open
January 11, 2019
By Ben Everill, PGATOUR.COM
Jordan Spieth uses nice approach to set up birdie at Sony Open
HONOLULU, Hawaii – Jordan Spieth felt like he was trying to win the Sony Open in Hawaii late Friday but in reality he was fighting to make the cut.
He failed either way.
But the 11-time PGA TOUR winner was cautiously optimistic going forward as he found some fight in his game and his putting turned around from a poor first day.
After a scratchy opening 3-over 73 on Thursday, Spieth did his best to make a run to the weekend but his 66 would fall just a shot short.
Three birdies in the final four holes just wasn’t enough and at one under total Spieth was sent home early.
“I love the way we fought back there at the end. That was fun. I felt like I was trying to win a golf tournament just to make the cut, which is not really something I want to get used to, but early in the season when I started the day 17 shots back, it was something where I could actually feel some pressure and make adjustments, too,” Spieth explained.
“I've missed cuts before and gone on and won my next event; I've finished runner-up my next event. It's not like an all-tell. I knew coming in that the game was off and needed to kind of start to fine tune. So I'm in a good space given what happened.
“It's a learning experience, but I'm tired of learning experiences though.”
In a week where his putting was put under the microscope Spieth rebounded from a -2.878 (ranked 136th) Strokes Gained: Putting Thursday with a +2.506 (ranked ninth) effort Friday.
RELATED: Round 2, Sony Open in Hawaii
Matt Kuchar ended his trophy drought of 116 starts earlier this season at the Mayakoba Golf Classic. After back-to-back 63s to start the Sony Open in Hawaii it looks like his career renaissance is in full force.
Chez Reavie had a record day at Waialae during Round 2. He became the first person since hole-by-hole scoring was introduced in 1983 to have three eagles on par-4s in one round and the first person since ShotLink technology was introduced in 2003 to make three eagle hole-outs from over 100 yards in one round.
Stewart Cink needed just 24 putts en route to an 8-under 62 on Friday. His stellar play on the greens has him at 10 under and within shouting distance of 36-hole leader Matt Kuchar.
It was much improved although he was left to rue a costly three-putt on the 12th hole and a tough 10-foot birdie try on 17 that curled away late.
The former FedExCup champion believes it could have been even better had he trusted himself earlier.
“I put a really bad stroke on a par putt on six today. I had been thinking about my stroke on every putt I had hit from yesterday until that hole, and I just told myself, just point, aim, and shoot and stop thinking,” Spieth said.
“Because I've been working on my stroke so much that I'm thinking about doing the path of the stroke and if you think about the stroke you've got no touch or feel.
“From there on, just point, aim, shoot, and I just started making everything. Wish I had figured that out like the third hole in the tournament not 30-something holes in.”
Spieth is still trying to get his long game in order also claiming he had “three or four different golf swings” during the week when he’s never played prior with “more than just one feel.”
He is hopeful he’ll be better prepared when he tees it up at the Farmers Insurance Open on January 24.
He started the week at 191st in the FedExCup and will not add to his tally in Hawaii as he looks to rebound from missing the TOUR Championship for the first time in his career last season.
“I didn't play well, but it was kind of trying to find what I need to work on to then dial it in,” he explained.
“The move I'm trying to do with my swing, it's most difficult and impossible to do on course. Just the timing of it is just not consistent yet.
“I'm trying to just develop a way to make this downswing-feel work. Once it clicks, I'll be right back where I need to be. Until then, it's a little inconsistent in the long clubs.
“For not playing well at all and being on the bad end of the draw, to miss the cut by one is reassuring.”