Padraig Harrington finishes sixth in Hawaii as Jordan Speith romps to victory
Published 11/01/2016 | 08:02
Jordan Spieth strolled to a seventh PGA Tour title with an eight-shot victory in the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in Hawaii, which saw him come close to a recording-breaking 72-hole score.
The world number one came into the final round five shots in front of Brooks Koepka, but there was never any danger of anyone catching him as he carded a six-under-par 67 to finish a staggering -30.
If his birdie attempt at 17 had not fell a foot short of the hole, he would have levelled the PGA record for 72 holes of 31 under which is held by Ernie Els.
Although the 22-year-old missed out on history, he was in glorious form in Hawaii and proved comparisons to Tiger Woods are not misplaced as he becomes the third youngest man to reach seven PGA titles, taking just a month longer than Woods.
Had Spieth matched his second-round score of 64 he would have broken Els' record, but he saved his highest score of the tournament for the final round.
It still contained seven birdies and one bogey and was enough to ensure a sixth tour win in the last 21 outings.
However, he is keen to play down any comparisons to Woods.
"I am nowhere near, I don't think there's any reason to compare, it is awfully early," he said. "I'm very excited with where I am at as a start to my career and what Tiger has done I can't imagine ever being done again, but it's very nice to be in that company.
"Any time that you can get into the company of him and other great players, it's a goal I've had since I was a little kid."
On his performance, he added: "I'm very satisfied. I felt comfortable all week, I felt it was just a short three-week break over the holidays and then just trying to continue what I was doing last year. It worked this week and all parts of the game were firing."
First-round leader Patrick Reed finished in second place after a four-under-par 69 ensured a -22 score while Koepka, who started the round in second place, slipped back to tied third with Brandt Snedeker.
Three-time major winner Padraig Harrington closed with a final round 67 which consisted of six birdies and 12 pars in a tie for sixth.
The 44-year-old's performance saw him rise 22 places in the world rankings and now lies in 120th. He will need to make his way back into the world's top 50 to gain a place at the US Masters in Augusta in April.
It was announced today that the Dubliner's 18-year association with Wilson will continue.
“My association with Wilson Staff clubs is one of the longest and most successful in the game and I’m delighted to see it continue,” Harrington said. “I can always rely on Wilson Staff clubs when I get into contention and the support I get out on the Tour is second to none.”
Graeme McDowell finished on -4.