Orlando (Florida), Dec 7: Young American Jordan Spieth opened up a seven-stroke lead with a spectacular nine-under while Tiger Woods fought off a bout of fever to make further progress at the Hero World Challenge golf by shooting a 69 in the third round, here.
The 21-year-old Spieth first completed his second round with a par score on the 18th hole and then continued his red-hot form by returning a card of 63, which featured nine birdies. The final one came on the 18th hole with a breathtaking 45-feet putt.
The incredible birdie putt was a 54-hole tournament record. He acknowledged the huge cheer from the crowd by lifting his club and left the Course with an ear-to-ear smile on his face.
His 20-under in 54 holes is also a record. Going into the final round of the USD 3.5 million PGA tour event, Spieth leads Keegan Bradely (65) and Henrick Stenson (68) by a comfortable seven stroke margin and looks set to clinch his second consecutive title, having won the Australia Open last week.
"Yeah, it would mean a lot. It's been a heck of a trip thus far, starting with Japan, just barely missing out, and then closing it out last week. It would mean a lot to me," Spieth said when asked how it would feel winning two back-to-back trophies.
"This tournament consists of whatever it is, 18 of the top 30 in the world. This is a world-class field by every definition of it. These are the guys that win major championships. Almost everybody in this tournament has won one. I would say more than half. You guys would know. Yeah, it would mean a lot to me going into the off-season. It would give me a lot of confidence going forward looking to 2015 to be a year that is an improvement on 2014, which is the ultimate goal," he said.
Woods has been improving ever since he shot a horrendous 77 on day one and today was no different even though he still lies at the bottom of the heap. He had one bogey on the front nine and two in the back nine but closed the day with three birdies in a row. On aggregate, he is now even par at 216.