Tiger Woods’ Hero World Challenge: Tee times, pairings for Sunday’s final round
The 21-year old Jordan Spieth, a good 20 shots ahead of host Tiger Woods, anchors the tee sheet for Sunday’s final round.
For the third straight round, Tiger Woods will go off in the first tee time of the day at his Hero World Challenge. While his play has improved each round, Woods has been in last place on the leaderboard ever since the front nine on Thursday and stuck in the opening tee time. Over an hour later, and 20 shots ahead of him, will be Jordan Spieth, who over these last two weeks in this dead stretch on the golf calendar, has become the hottest player in the world.
Woods shouldn’t feel too bad being 20 strokes back of Spieth. The 21-year old is blowing everybody else out too, taking a tournament record 7-shot lead after 54 holes. He backed up two opening rounds in the mid-60s with a dazzling 63 on Saturday, capped off with a bombed-in putt on the 18th green to secure the 54-hole record. He was coming off what he called his best round as a pro — a startling 63 in extremely difficult conditions in Australia on Sunday. That round, and win, left Rory McIlroy in awe, and Spieth promptly flew around the world to keep it rolling in Florida this week.
Spieth will play with Keegan Bradley, another one of the USA’s top young stars who has gone 66-65 over the last two days to rocket up the leaderboard. Bradley is experimenting with a unanchored putter this week, ditching his normal flagstick as he prepares for the the anchoring ban in 2016. He’s done this before with mixed results, most notably at the Memorial, and this week’s work should be a boost for a guy who grew up anchoring and never switched to it mid-career as a crutch. It will be tough to catch his playing partner on Sunday, but another good day of work with this putter should set him up nicely for more “experimental” weeks, or even a full-time switch, in this 2015 season.
Spieth and Bradley will go at 12:45 p.m. ET, setting up a finish just before 5 p.m. on NBC. Unless Spieth implodes on the front 9, however, we should know the outcome well in advance. While the 54-hole leader has won this event just twice out of the last 10 years, no one, except for Tiger (6 shots in 2007), has had near the margin Spieth has right now. Woods will be out at 11:25 a.m. ET with his good friend, Steve Stricker.
After dry heaving and vomiting to his lowest round of the week, Tiger expected his fever to break and be in improved shape for Sunday. He won’t be 100 percent, but he’ll be better and his game should continue to improve. The swing has looked solid almost all week, and Sunday is a great opportunity to test it out before another extended layoff and the start of his 2015 slate. Woods will be a few holes into his round when Golf Channel goes live at Noon, but they should show most of his shots during their pregame show. Expect another quick round and for an ill Woods to be in the clubhouse in about three hours.
Here’s the full tee sheet for Sunday’s final round:
|11:25 AM||Steve Stricker||Tiger Woods|
|11:35 AM||Jimmy Walker||Hunter Mahan|
|11:45 AM||Hideki Matsuyama||Chris Kirk|
|11:55 AM||Zach Johnson||Billy Horschel|
|12:05 PM||Rickie Fowler||Bubba Watson|
|12:15 PM||Graeme McDowell||Matt Kuchar|
|12:25 PM||Justin Rose||Jason Day|
|12:35 PM||Henrik Stenson||Patrick Reed|
|12:45 PM||Jordan Spieth||Keegan Bradley|