WINDERMERE, Fla. – Much was made this week of the home-course advantage enjoyed by a former (Tiger Woods) and current (Bubba Watson) Isleworth resident. Yet Jordan Spieth is the only one with an individual win here – in a college tournament in 2011.
In his only full year at Texas, Spieth shot 11-under 205 in the three-round event and won by eight strokes.
A little more than three years later, Spieth has the lead again at Isleworth, this time after a 6-under 66 gave him a one-shot lead in the Hero World Challenge. Instead of beating up on kids his own age, the 21-year-old Spieth is now topping a leaderboard that features 18 of the top 26 players in the world.
Spieth said the TifEagle greens at Isleworth are similar to the surfaces at the course he grew up on in Dallas (Brookhaven), with big, gentle slopes. Whatever the case, he looked plenty comfortable while playing his first 10 holes in 6 under par Thursday, including five birdies in a row on Nos. 6-10.
“I’m excited about the start to this week,” he said. “I’m excited about how last week went and kind of riding the momentum.”
Over the past week and a half, Spieth has flown from Japan to Australia to Texas to Florida. Winning the Australian Open made the long flight home more tolerable – especially after a closing 63 and six-shot victory – and he said he was finally able to shake off the jet lag on Wednesday.
“I was 100 percent today,” he said. “Should stay that way the rest of the week.”