And what would a golf tournament be without seeing Jordan Spieth’s name at the top of the leaderboard. Spieth, off to a solid start in his mission to carry his scintillating 2015 form seamlessly into the new year, birdied the last to cap a 66. Rickie Fowler and Bubba Watson sit just behind Lee, while PGA Championship victor Jason Day is well back in the pack in his return to competitive golf after a lengthy break. It gave him a four-shot lead in the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. Two rounds into the 2016 season and it feels a lot like previous year. Spieth is in the lead.
For all the talk about how he can match what he did previous year – two majors, five victories overall – it might be just as tough to repeat what he has done the opening two rounds. Spieth, the world’s top-ranked player, posted the low round of the day on the par-73, 7,411-yard Plantation Course at Kapalua after finishing with a birdie on the 18th hole. I can see these two relishing the duel and I can see them fighting out the finish so I’ve backed both – favouring Spieth. “For whatever reason it is, whether we want to feed off each other or we want to beat the crap out of each other, we somehow play well together”, Spieth said following the first round.
“What’s Jordan at? I saw he was at 15”, Kisner said Friday when he finished. And if that’s case, I’ve got to go out there and shoot in the 60s in order to win.
Reed didn’t make almost enough birdies to keep pace. Birdies have not been in short supply this week with only a moderate breeze and a blazing sun that is making Kapalua pick up some speed. This was his 16th birdie over the first two days.
He has reached 16-under-par for the tournament and holds a handy advantage over a three-strong group at 12-under which includes Reed, his fellow American Kevin Kisner, and Fabian Gomez of Argentina. When you win on the PGA Tour, there are two main perks: a trip to Augusta for the Masters and another one to Maui for the Hyundai Tournament of Champions.
Horne held the clubhouse lead after shooting a 3-under 69. Stone completed 11 holes, and Brooks nine.
Spieth hasn’t made a bogey yet this week but noted that he’s not clicking on all cylinders yet.
“Patrick could have shot 13 under today, ” Spieth said.
“From there I just hit the ball a little closer and hit better putts”, he said.
After a simple chip to 2 feet for birdie on the short par-4 14th, he went over the back of the green on the par-5 15th and faced a tough chip to a back pin.
Spieth now holds all the aces to kick off 2016 with another triumph but, grounded as ever, the Texan knows that the tournament is far from over