Spieth's victory at Royal Birkdale last July was his third major title and leaves him needing to win the US PGA to join Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods in completing a career grand slam.

The World No.2 has finished outside the top-10 just twice in his last 11 starts and recovered from an opening 75 to finish ninth in last week's Tournament of Champions.

That means the 24-year-old has been installed as the favourite to win the Sony Open in Hawaii, ahead of good friend and defending champion Justin Thomas.

"My goal is very similar to the last couple of years, which is to focus on the major championships and try and be in contention to win on the weekend in at least a couple of those," Spieth told a pre-tournament press conference in Honolulu.

Spieth plays a practice round before the Sony Open in Hawaii. PHOTO: Getty Images.

"This time of the season, the next four or five events that I play, I'm not really thinking about the Masters. But once we get into March that's when the real preparations start.

"There's goals within each section of the season and in this section it's to try and win a tournament out of these next four or five events.

"Then as we go into the Masters I set a bar for March, April, May and then you get into each major."

Thomas was also the defending champion in Kapalua last week and could only finish 22nd in the 34-man field, but that did include a final round of 67 in his first tournament for a month.

The US PGA champion is without his regular caddie in Honolulu due to injury, but has enlisted Phil Mickelson's former bagman Jim 'Bones' Mackay – now an on-course commentator – to stand-in for the event he started with a stunning 59 last year on his way to breaking the PGA Tour's 72-hole scoring record.