WINDERMERE, Fla. – Despite a slow start in Round 2, Jordan Spieth remains atop the standings at the halfway point of the Hero World Challenge. Here’s how things look at Isleworth, where Spieth leads Henrik Stenson.
Leaderboard: Jordan Spieth (-11), Henrik Stenson (-9), Patrick Reed (-8), Justin Rose (-8), Bubba Watson (-7), Rickie Fowler (-7), Jimmy Walker (-7), Zach Johnson (-7)
What it means: Spieth made the turn in even par despite relatively benign conditions, and he lost his lead as a result. Thanks to a back-nine surge, though, he regained the pole position as he looks to win for the second time in as many weeks following his rout at the Australian Open. With play delayed by afternoon rain, Spieth opted not to finish his final hole. Returning at 10:15 Saturday morning, Spieth got up and down from in front of the 18th green to make par and finally finish his second round.
Round of the day: Call it the Tiger Bump. Playing alongside the former world No. 1, Reed caught fire at Isleworth, setting a new competitive course record with a 9-under 63. Reed played his first seven holes in 6 under and made the turn in 29, moving from next-to-last to a tie for third.
Best of the rest: Rose had a tumultuous front nine, with six birdies, one bogey and a double bogey. It added up to a 3-under 33, and the Englishman added five more birdies on the back nine to cap an 8-under 64, one that included two separate stretches of four straight birdies.
Biggest disappointment: Most players were deep into red figures Friday, but Graeme McDowell failed to get anything going in the second round. McDowell made just two birdies during a round of 1-over 73 that dropped him to 3 under for the week, eight shots off the pace after he began the day just two behind Spieth.
Main storyline heading into Saturday: Spieth appears comfortable with the lead, and he is certainly in command of his game right now. Reed is closing in fast, though, and the world No. 2 still lingers just off the pace. It’s all shaping up for a compelling finish this weekend, as Spieth looks to win again on a course where he captured his first collegiate title in 2011.
Shot of the day: Tiger Woods was 208 yards out on the par-5 13th when he authored the best shot of his latest comeback. Woods hit a 5-iron that rolled to within six feet of the hole, setting up an eagle that helped propel the five-time champ to a 2-under 70.
Quote of the day: “I never played with Tiger before besides in a practice round at the British. It was good to finally be able to play with him, especially in competition.” – Reed.