Jordan Spieth, who has picked up in 2016 right where he left off after a remarkable 2015 campaign, is en route to his first win of the year with a five-stroke lead at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions.
The world No. 1 sank eight birdies and an eagle on No. 18 to move to 24 under par Saturday and is in command a day after taking the lead from Patrick Reed, who fell to third at 18 under. Brooks Koepka, who is in second overall, had the best outing Saturday, finishing with 10 birdies.
Here is a look at the rest of the leaderboard for the event in Maui, Hawaii:
Not only is Spieth on pace to win, but he could also do it in record fashion, per Robert Collias of the Maui News:
Robert Collias @BaldHeadTruth
#HyundaiTOC Jordan Spieth shoots 8-under 65, still on pace for tour scoring record #MauiNews https://t.co/IyTCSrDTGB1/10/2016, 1:24:35 AM
Spieth was one shot shy of the 54-hole Kapalua course record, which Ernie Els set in 2003 before finishing 31 under and becoming the first player in PGA Tour history to finish 30 shots under par or better, according to the Associated Press (h/t ESPN.com).
Spieth will head into Sunday's final round on the heels of a convincing third-round finish, capping the day with an eagle in fitting fashion, courtesy of the PGA Tour:
PGA TOUR @PGATOUR
Jordan Spieth closes with an eagle. 5-shot lead. #QuickHits https://t.co/nRQXGeWdNm1/10/2016, 12:57:30 AM
Spieth's day wasn't unblemished, though. He bogeyed on the eighth hole and showed vulnerability in the process.
In light of his hiccup amid a torrid pace, Amanda Balionis of PGATour.com had a humorous take on Spieth's minor mishap:
Amanda Balionis @Amanda_Balionis
BREAKING: Spieth is human..and has made his first bogey of 2016. Now only -19... everyone remain calm. REMAIN CALM.1/9/2016, 10:42:51 PM
Koepka sank six straight birdies on the front nine and was within one shot of the lead before Spieth pulled away with a 50-foot birdie putt and continued to march forth.
Koepka’s 63 on Saturday was a career best, and it could’ve been even better on other courses with higher pars and better conditions than the windy gusts that lurked in Maui, as Jason Sobel of ESPN.com noted:
Jason Sobel @JasonSobelESPN
Brooks Koepka shoots 10-under today. On some courses, that's a 60. At Kapalua, it's "only" a 63.1/10/2016, 12:22:59 AM
Spieth has dominated on par-five holes, shooting 13 under on 12 holes in the tournament.
After winning the Masters and U.S. Open last year and contending late in the two other majors, he’ll enter 2016 with realistic aspirations of matching—if not exceeding—those feats.
And he’s only 22 years old.
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