Spieth was in contention for what would have been just his second PGA Tour title at Riviera Country Club 12 months ago and thought he needed to birdie the last to keep pace with the leaders.
However, in attempting to hole a chip from just off the green, the 22-year-old ran the ball eight feet past the hole and missed the par putt, which would have been good enough for a play-off after Dustin Johnson and Sergio Garcia both bogeyed the 17th.
“Last year it was a crazy finish and it kind of taught me a little something about this golf course,” Spieth said. “You just never know exactly what’s going to happen at Riviera coming down the stretch.
“I was thinking I needed to birdie 18 for a play-off. Turns out, with I think Dustin and Sergio bogeying the 17th, I ended up one out of the three-way play-off (won by James Hahn).
“So (it was) a little bizarre, but that just kind of teaches you how it works sometimes. Sometimes it’s not birdies to win.
“Sometimes on harder golf courses, even on a tour event and it’s a non-major championship, sometimes par is a really good score.
“Unfortunately it’s rare, but fortunately it happens here. So it would mean a lot to win this tournament.
“For me to win on a golf course that I consider one of the top few in the world, that’s always a goal. It would be amazing.”
Meanwhile former world number one Martin Kaymer hopes a clear head can help him secure a first victory for almost two years in the Maybank Championship Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur this week.
Kaymer has not won since claiming the second of his major titles in the 2014 US Open at Pinehurst.
The 31-year-old squandered a 10-shot lead in the final round of the Abu Dhabi Championship in 2015 and lost a play-off in the Italian Open later the same season.
The world number 36 is hoping to make up for a missed cut in the Dubai Desert Classic with a strong performance at Royal Selangor.
“I’ve played many times in Malaysia, but this has to be my favourite course here,” the Ryder Cup star said. “It’s definitely my kind of course.”