Bubba turns down Hero spot, now leads through 54


NASSAU, Bahamas – Earlier in the week, Jordan Spieth figured that a player like Bubba Watson could dismantle the Albany course if the conditions were right.

“Bubba will like it, there's nothing blocking the tee shots,” Spieth said on Wednesday at the Hero World Challenge.

On Saturday, Spieth’s prediction came true, with Watson scorching the course record by two strokes with a third-round 63 (Paul Casey also shot 63 on Day 3) to move to 19 under par and two strokes clear of the field.

Following opening birdies at Nos. 1 and 2, Watson hit a “chipped” 7-iron from 168 yards at the par-4 fourth hole that bounced twice and dropped into the hole for an eagle. He would add another birdie at the sixth hole to turn in 31.

“Today this golf course set up well for me with no wind,” said Watson, who didn’t make a bogey on Day 3. “When there's conditions like this you have a chance to play, to shoot low so it's not really about are you in the zone or anything. There's still a couple wayward shots that I hit that I got away with, I made the par putts that kept me going, kept the round going.”

Watson initially turned down his spot in this week’s field fearing he wouldn’t be able to complete the paperwork in time for his children to travel with him, but later replaced Jason Day when he withdrew from the event.