Watson takes lead, Lahiri now 15th in Hero World Challenge
Bubba Watson, lurking near the top of the leaderboard for past two rounds, made the right moves on the traditional moving day at the Hero World Challenge. On another fine scoring day, Watson pulled ahead by two shots in the third round on Saturday. In the process, he equalled a course record that had been set barely 10 minutes before him by Paul Casey (63) in the group ahead him and also became the first sole leader in three days after the leaderboard had given an extremely congested look earlier. Watson was at 19-under 197, one short of the 54-hole tournament record Jordan Spieth set last year at Isleworth.
Twenty minutes after Watson return with a 63, Spieth (68) commented, “It was a day where you really needed to shoot lower. Par for the course is 5 under, especially in these conditions.” Spieth, one of the three overnight leaders, who slipped to Tied-fifth despite four-under 68, added, “All the par 5s are pretty simple. You’ve got to lay up on 9th, but other than that they’re just long par 4s with a couple drivable par 4s as well.”
Watson is now two shots clear of Paul Casey (66), while Patrick Reed (66) and Chris Kirk (65) are 16-under. Spieth (68) is Tied-fifth alongside overnight co-leader Bill Haas (68) at 15-under), while the third overnight leader, Jimmy Walker (71) dropped to Tied-11th.
Debutant Anirban Lahiri had another disappointing day on the greens. The 28-year-old Indian shot one-over 73, and was four-under 212 on Tied 15th, down a place from overnight Tied-14th.