Spieth cruising through 54 holes at World Challenge


WINDERMERE, Fla. – With one round to go, the Hero World Challenge is shaping up as another rout for Jordan Spieth. Here’s how things look after 54 holes at Isleworth, where Spieth now leads by seven shots:

Leaderboard: Jordan Spieth (-20), Keegan Bradley (-13), Henrik Stenson (-13), Patrick Reed (-11), Justin Rose (-10)

What it means: Spieth began the day with a two-shot lead and kept his foot firmly on the gas. After cleaning up a par to complete his second round, he birdied each of the first three holes of his third round to move well in front of the elite field, one week after he won the Australian Open by six shots.

Round of the day: Spieth was flawless Saturday, carding nine birdies without dropping a shot en route to a 63. After making the turn in 4-under 32, he birdied four of his next five holes from Nos. 10-14, then capped his round with a lengthy birdie putt on No. 18 to match the low round of the week.

Best of the rest: Bradley carded a 7-under 65, but he still lost ground to Spieth. After opening with birdies on each of his first two holes, Bradley reeled off four straight birdies from Nos. 7-10 to briefly put some heat on Spieth. His round featured only one dropped shot and earned him a spot in Sunday’s final pairing.

Biggest disappointment: Rickie Fowler was four back of Spieth and within striking distance to begin the third round, but Fowler failed to get anything going while carding an even-par 72. While he made five birdies, he sandwiched them around three bogeys and a double bogey to fall into a tie for seventh, 13 shots back.

Main storyline heading into Sunday: This appears to be all but over, as Spieth has had no trouble bringing his game with him on the Australia-to-Florida trek. Having already won at Isleworth while in college, the 21-year-old sits 18 holes away from win No. 3 as a professional, and his second in as many weeks.

Shot of the day: Battling flu-like symptoms all day, Tiger Woods fired his approach from 173 yards on No. 18 to within five feet of the hole. It set up a third straight birdie to close out a round of 3-under 69, which moved Woods to  even par for the week but still left him in last place.

Quote of the day: “Wasn’t easy and I fought hard. That’s about all I had.” – Woods on battling illness during the third round.