Bubba Watson wins Hero World Challenge

World No. 4 Bubba Watson burnt the course with a whopping 25-under 263 to win the $3.5 million Hero World Challenge title at the Albany Resort here on Sunday.

Tiger Woods, Hero's Pawan Munjal and the champion USA's Bubba Watson, posing with his son after winning the Hero World Challenge at Albany Resort in Nassau (Bahamas) on Sunday.   -  Rakesh Rao

After all, Tiger Woods had seen the low scoring coming four days before World No. 4 Bubba Watson burnt the course with a whopping 25-under 263 to win the $3.5 million Hero World Challenge title at the Albany Resort here on Sunday.

Tiger told The Hindu, “If the tees are up and the wind has died down, these guys can tear it up. (Then) if you shoot a 66-67, you may even feel you did not play well.” In fact, a glance at the leader-board reflects how good Woods’ read the course where he hosted 18 of the top 43 players in the world this week.

As it turned out, Watson, who almost didn’t make the line-up and was included following the withdrawal of World No. 2 Jason Day, walked away with a million-dollar cheque after stitching together four scintillating rounds here. “I have to thank Jason once for this,” said the jovial champion who unlike most golfers jokes with the spectators even as he prepares to take a shot.

'I won because I had more birdies'

“I think I won because I had more birdies this week than anyone else. Next week, it could be someone else. The wind died down a little bit starting on Thursday and made the golf course more accessible. Better chance to make birdies and it showed, lots of us made a lot of birdies.”

Had Watson not bogeyed the final hole, he would have matched the lowest winning score of 26-under set last year by the current World No. 1 Jordan Spieth. The dethroned champion finished fourth.

This was Watson’s second title of the year, the first one being the Travellers’ Championship. Watson, the overnight leader by two strokes over Paul Casey, led through the final day riding on seven birdies. Patrick Reed fired a 66 to take the second spot and Rickie Fowler carded a 64 for the third.

Lost in the background was the effort to England’s Justin Rose, who fired a course record of 10-under 62 but only finished a distant 13th.

The scores:

Bubba Watson (US) (67, 67, 63, 66) 263; Patrick Reed (US) (69, 65, 66, 66) 266; Rickie Fowler (US) (70, 68, 65, 64) 267; Jordan Spieth (US) (67, 66, 68, 67) 268; Bill Haas (US) (67, 66, 68, 68), Paul Casey (66, 70, 63, 70) 269; Brooks Koepka (US) (67, 70, 65, 68) 270; J. B. Holmes (71, 68, 68, 64), Jimmy Walker (66, 67, 71, 67) 271; Adam Scott (Aus) (67, 70, 66, 69), Chris Kirk (US) (69, 65, 66, 72) 272; Zach Johnson (US) (66, 70, 67, 70) 273; Justin Rose (71, 72, 70, 62) 275; Matt Kuchar (US) (70, 66, 69, 71) 276; Dustin Johnson (US) (68, 69, 72, 71) 280; Billy Horschel (US) (71, 70, 73, 67) 281; Hideki Matsuyama (Jpn) (75, 73, 70, 66) 284; Anirban Lahiri (Ind) (69, 70, 73, 72) 284.