Spieth blows away field at Isleworth

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Spieth blows away field at Isleworth

Jordan Spieth won the Hero World Challenge with a performance tournament host Tiger Woods could appreciate.

Staked to a seven-shot lead, Spieth blew away an elite field at Isleworth and set two tournament records Sunday when he closed with a 6-under 66 for a 10-shot victory over Henrik Stenson of Sweden.

From three birdies on his opening four holes, punctuated by a hybrid hit perfectly to 12 feet for eagle on the par-5 seventh, Spieth turned the final round into a casual walk along the lakes and palatial homes of Isleworth.

He glanced over at a leaderboard when he made the turn and saw that he was up by 11 shots. And then he made another birdie.

“It was the most fun I ever had playing nine holes of golf,’’ Spieth said.

The 21-year-old Texan won his second straight tournament in dominant fashion. Spieth won the Australian Open last week by six, and even a trip halfway around the world didn’t slow his momentum.

He finished at 26-under 262, breaking the tournament record of 266 set by Woods in 2007 and Davis Love III in 2000, both of those scores at Sherwood Country Club in California. His 10-shot margin of victory broke Woods’ record.

Woods, in his first tournament in four months while recovering from back injuries, stubbed two more chips on the 13th hole for a triple bogey and closed with a 72.

He tied for last place in the 18-man field with Hunter Mahan, 26 shots out of the lead.

Woods noted that Spieth closed with a 63 in Australia and flew some 9,000 miles to get to Isleworth.

“He’s playing some pretty special golf right now,’’ Woods said.

Spieth completes his second full year as a pro by moving to No. 9. The Hero World Challenge is not an official PGA Tour event, so the $1 million prize does not count toward the money list.

Spieth won by eight shots at Isleworth just three years ago, when he was still in college at Texas.

Woods opened with a 77 and was in last place the rest of the tournament. He had not played since Aug. 9 at the PGA Championship, taking nearly four months off to strengthen his back muscles.

“I made some progress,’’ Woods said. “I hadn’t played in four months and I’m in absolutely no pain, which is nice. To be able to go all out on some of these drives like I did this week really enforces that what I’m doing is the right thing for my body.’’

AP




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