Spieth plays the best golf of his life to lead at Hero World Challenge

Tiger-Woods-on-day-3-of-the-Hero-World-Challenge-2014Orlando, Florida: Playing what he called as the ‘best golf of his life’, Jordan Spieth simply pulled away from the rest of field, as he amplified his lead from two to seven shots in a matter of 18 holes after the third round of the Hero World Challenge. Spieth, who had just one bogey and one double bogey in his first two rounds went even better with nine birdies against no dropped shots for the week’s second card of 63 and it took him to 20-under for 54 holes.

There was a yawning gap between him and the next two, Keegan Bradley (65) and Henrik Stenson (68), who were both at 13-under and can only hope for a chance if Spieth collapses in the final round.

On the basis of the kind of golf the 21-year-old Texan is currently playing – 10 of his last 11 rounds have been in the 60s – that would seem most unlikely.

Speaking to the reporters soon as he came out, Spieth said, “I’ll take that round out here any day. It’s a good position to be in but I’ve really got to keep my head down and stay focused. There are no leaderboards out here (on the golf course) which may help me. I’m going to have to pick a number and really grind to shoot it tomorrow.”

The second round hero Patrick Reed added a 69 and was lying fourth at 11-under, while Justin Rose followed his second round 64 with a third round 70 and Jason Day (70) to be fifth and sixth.

The host, Tiger Woods was unwell for the second day running. The fever seemed to have abated, but he was feeling nauseous and even threw up during the round. The condition improved only on the back nine and it showed in the form of three closing birdies that helped him reach 69 and break 70 for the first time this week, but he is 20 shots behind Spieth.

Asked if he was playing the best golf of his life, he stopped for a fraction and answered, “This is the best I've played in a 54‑hole stretch in my life. Yeah, I've never been 20‑under par in 54 holes. I don't think I've ever finished 20‑under par for a tournament, so that is a good goal for tomorrow, to finish in the 20s.
“I think I'm playing a little better than I did at Augusta. It's very difficult to tell. Just two completely different experiences and two very different golf courses. That one played firm and fast, and this one is playing a lot softer. Still quick, but different grass type as well.

Continuing on his run, he joked and said, “I asked Mike (caddie) on one hole today, I said, Mike, is there any tournament next week we can find a way to play in? He started laughing.”

He spoke of the work he done with coach Cameron McCormick before the Australian Open. He said, “I was hitting it great in Japan, better than I ended up hitting it in Australia. But I didn't make as many putts. He (Cameron) found a little something that I probably wouldn't have been able to find, and I want to say we practiced more than usual, certainly more than this week with the way the timing has worked with the tee times and the delays and everything.”

In the morning, Spieth came back to hit a difficult chip and then holed a putt for a par that gave him the kind of start he wanted.

Spieth, who has been on a roll these last few weeks, rolled in a 60-footer for his ninth birdies to round of a near-perfect round at Isleworth. Spieth opened with three straight birdies and added a fourth on seventh to turn in four-under.

After a nice front nine, Spieth hit an aggressive bunker approach shot on the par-4 10h hole to three feet then tapped in for birdie.
The gap had begun to increase and he chasm between him and the rest kept increasing as he added a second hat-trick of birdies for the day from 12th to the 14th and closed with the monster putt on 18th.

Woods opened with a birdie on the first, but gave it back on sixth and quickly got another one on seven. But it was clear he was less than 100 per cent. However, once on back nine, he seemed to feel better, particularly over the final stretch. He was even par after dropping shots on 13th and 15th, but three birdies in a row from 16th through to 18th and finished at 69, breaking 70 for the fist time this week.

Speaking of his round, Woods said, “Well, wasn't easy and I fought hard. That's about all I had. Well, I wasn't doing too good at the beginning, but I thought (if) I could hang in there. If this fever just broke I thought I would be all right. It finally broke on the front nine.”

As for the previous day’s state, he said “Well, yesterday's fever was higher, but today, you know, the nausea and the vomiting before and during the round, I didn't have that issue yesterday. Yeah, I'm on antibiotics. Just waiting for it to kick in. I hope it will be gone soon.”

On Sunday, Woods goes out first for the third time in the week this time with his friend, Steve Stricker. Spieth will play with Bradley in the lead pairing and ahead of them will be Stenson and Reed.