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Spieth wins Hero in dominant fashion

Claims his second victory in as many weeks after a record-setting performance at Isleworth

Jordan Spieth had been down this road before.
Three years ago at Isleworth, he was making the turn in the final
round when he looked over at the scoreboard on the 18th fairway
that showed he had a big lead. So it was eerie when he caught
himself doing the same thing Sunday during the final round of the
Hero World Challenge.
But there was one big difference.
Back then, Spieth was a freshman at Texas and won by eight
shots in the Isleworth Collegiate Invitational for his first college title.
This time, he beat an elite field that included tournament host Tiger
Woods, six major champions and 16 of the top 30 players in the
world.
And he beat them even worse.
Spieth capped off a big finish to his second season as a pro when
he closed with a 6-under 66 and set two tournament records to win
by 10 shots over Henrik Stenson. Staked to a seven-shot lead in
the final round, he opened with three birdies in four holes and
turned the final three hours into a peaceful walk along the lakes
and palatial homes of Isleworth.
"It was the most fun I ever had playing nine holes of golf," Spieth
said.
Spieth had an 11-shot lead after nine holes, ripped a drive over the corner of the bunker and then glanced at the lone leaderboard.
And then he made another birdie. He coasted from there and even
with a careless double bogey on the back nine, he finished at 26-
under 262 to break the tournament record of 266 set by Woods in
2007 and Davis Love III in 2000, both at Sherwood Country Club in
California.
The 10-shot victory was the largest margin of the year in golf, and
broke the tournament record of seven shots that Woods had in
2007.
"Whether my emotions showed it or not I'm not sure, but inside we
were really very pleased with the year and how it came to a close,"
Spieth said. "This caps off the best golfing year that I've ever had."
Spieth had set a goal of two wins, and that looked out of reach
when he began the last leg of a long journey. He finished one shot
out of a playoff in Japan, won the Australian Open by six shots and
then turned in another dominant performance.
"The kid is playing great," said Keegan Bradley, who had a 70 to
tie for third with Patrick Reed (68). "You have to look at his past
three events. He almost won them all. He's a great player. I
wouldn't look more into it other than he dominated this week."
Woods, in his first tournament in four months while recovering from
back injuries, stubbed two more chips on the 13th hole for a triple
bogey and closed with a 72. He tied for last place in the 18-man
field with Hunter Mahan, 26 shots out of the lead.
Woods noted that Spieth closed with a 63 in Australia and flew
some 9,000 miles to get to Isleworth.
"He's playing some pretty special golf right now," Woods said.
Spieth completes his second full year as a pro by moving into the
top 10 in the world ranking at No. 9. The Hero World Challenge is
not an official PGA TOUR event, so the $1 million prize does not
count toward the money list.
He had never had such a big lead going into the final round, and
it's tempting to try to protect it. Instead, Spieth set tiny goals and
came out swinging. One of those goals was to stretch his lead to
10 shots, and he got there with a hybrid on the par-5 seventh to
the left edge of the green that trickled onto the putting surface.
Bradley two-putted for birdie to get within eight shots, and then
Spieth poured in his putt to go up by 10.
Bradley was headed for the eighth tee, when he reversed course
and walked over to Spieth to playfully body-slam him.
"I wanted to go over there and tackle him and break his putter,"
Bradley said. "No, I love Jordan. I'm happy for him. He was pretty
much unbeatable this week." Stenson played with Spieth on Saturday, and knew what to expect.
"He was in pretty much full control of every part of his game,"
Stenson said.
Stenson closed with a 69 to entrench himself a little deeper at No.
2 in the world behind Rory McIlroy, who did not play this week.

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