Kapalua throws handful of bad breaks at Spieth down stretch

Kapalua throws handful of bad breaks at Spieth down stretch

After back-to-back disappointing pars on Nos. 5 and 6 Sunday at Kapalua, Jordan Spieth thought to himself, “We’ve got to try and birdie every single hole.”

He did his best. Birdies at Nos. 7-11, 14 and 15 vaulted Spieth into contention at The Sentry.

But Spieth also received some tough breaks down the stretch, which included finding three divots and plugging a drive in a fairway bunker on the last four holes.

The first divot came when the drives of Spieth and playing competitor Harris English settled within inches of each other on the par-5 15th hole.

“I was kind of in a double divot on 15,” Spieth said. “I was in a divot, but Harry's ball was right behind mine, and I had to place it into his divot, so it was even deeper.”

Spieth still managed to birdie the hole with a two-putt from 84 feet. Though on the next hole came the roughest break of all, as Spieth’s drive buried in the lip of a fairway bunker, forcing Spieth to blast out sideways. He eventually made bogey to all but end his hopes barring something special.

“I missed my line, otherwise it could have been, I should have had a pretty good look at birdie,” Spieth said. “I would have had less in than what I had for my third if I hit you my drive where I wanted to.”

The third divot came at the par-4 17th hole, which Spieth parred. He birdied the last to finish at 27 under, two shots behind winner Chris Kirk.

“The [divots} were certainly tough breaks because they were balls that hit in the fairway and funneled into it,” Spieth said. “Out here balls funnel into the same spots a lot, it's not uncommon to be in divots. It was kind of stunk that it was three holes in a row, but the plug is what cost me a full shot. I still played the others just fine.”

Despite the unfortunate finish, Spieth is feeling positive as he heads into a three-week break. He won't play again until Pebble Beach in four weeks.

"I have not been putting in the time that I would like to, and I should be able to here over the next few weeks before it starts to get heavy," Spieth said. "It was kind of a one-off tournament; I now have a little break and I'm really glad to feel like I got a little house money as I go into the heavier part of the season, and feel like I'm trending in the right direction. There's nothing but optimism about what the season can bring at this point, regardless of what I'm trying to do off the course."