Spieth captures Hero World Challenge in dominating fashion


Frank Shala / Valencia Voice

Spieth, 21 broke Hero World Challenge host Tiger Woods’ tournament record by finishing 26-under.

Jordan Spieth has played on three different continents in the last three weeks. Fitting, as he has put the golf world on notice after completing a dominating 10-stroke victory at the Hero World Challenge.

Spieth shot a final round 66 to finish 26-under par and completed a wire-to-wire lead at the World Challenge on his way to breaking tournament host Tiger Woods’ World Challenge record of 22-under-par.

“Didn’t really know what the game plan was going to be when I woke up this morning,” said Spieth. “I’ve never been in this position to be really far out front starting the day.”

After winning the Autralian Open last week in Sydney, Spieth picked up right where he left off last week shooting a 6-under 66 on Thursday to open up a one-stroke lead. He shot a 5-under 67 in round two, and then a 9-under 63 on Saturday to open up a seven stroke lead going into the final round.

Any idea of coasting through the final round with the big lead disapeared quickly after Spieth was red-hot on the front nine, shooting a 31 going out. Spieth would birdie six holes and earn an eagle on the par-5 seventh. He also had a streak of 46 straight holes without a bogey this week before surrendering a double-bogey on 14.

“Whether my emotions showed it or not I’m not sure, but inside we were really very, very, pleased with the year and how it came to a close,” said Spieth.

The only drama throughout the final round was for second place. World #2 ranked player Henrik Stenson shot a final round 69 to finish 16-under.

“In all a good week,” said Stenson. “It was a one-horse race the last day. Jordan was pulling away from everyone. Played with him yesterday and he played fantastic, so all credit to him.”

Spieth’s final round playing partner Keegan Bradley and Patrick Reed finished 15-under, 11 strokes off the lead, and Australian Jason Day finished at 14-under.

After an opening round 5-over par, 77, Tiger Woods would rebound over the final three rounds to finish even-par for the tournament, but still finished in last place.

“I made some progress,” said Woods. “I hadn’t played in four months and I’m in abslutely no pain, which is nice.”

Woods will be entering his 20th year on the PGA TOUR, but is still confident to be able to compete against his peers, some that are almost half his age.

“I’ve got my speed back now,” said Woods. “Look how far I’m hitting it again now. I just need to clean up my short game…again, it’ progress. I hadn’t played in four months. To come out here and not play in any kind of pain is great progess.”

After attending the University of Texas, the 21-year old Spieth turned pro midway through his sophomore year in 2012. Just shy of his 20th birthday, Spieth would earn his first victory on tour at the 2013 John Deere Classic in a sudden-death playoff.

Spieth would garner more national attention after battling at Augusta early this year and nearly pulling off a Masters victory, finishing second to Bubba Watson. Fast forward to this week as Spieth has quickly become one of the fasting rising stars in all of golf.

“Just turn by turn tried to get a little better each month, each few weeks, whatever it was,” said Spieth on his journey the past couple of years. “I mean it’s not like I look back and I’m any different person. I just think that as a golfer, given more time and better and better competition as really every month went on, I was able to grow and get better and step up my game to that next level.”

The win moves Spieth back into the top 10 of the World Golf Rankings as the 2015 season will pick back up in January, with the players traveling to Hawaii for the Hyundai Tournament of Champions followed by the Sony Open.