WINDERMERE (Reuters) – Young American Jordan Spieth was on course to satisfy his 2014 season’s objectives as he stormed to a seven-shot lead at the Hero World Challenge, while host Tiger Woods showed his grit in Saturday’s third round.
The 21-year-old Spieth made three birdies in a row to start the day and another trio from the 12th.
He crowned the round by sinking a 50-footer at the last for his ninth birdie in a bogey-free 63 that put him at 20-under 196 and on the brink of a second title of the year.
The Texan won last week’s Australian Open for his first win of 2014 and said this week he could tick off the last box of his to-do list with a victory at Isleworth, having set a goal of two tournaments wins this year.
Tied for second place on 13-under were compatriot Keegan Bradley (65) and Henrik Stenson of Sweden (68), with Patrick Reed at 11 under par, one better than England’s Justin Rose.
Woods shot a 69 for a last-place total of even-par 216 in the elite 18-player field, but it was a triumph of sorts for the 38-year-old American, who was sick to his stomach.
After playing Friday with a fever that had hit 102 degrees, Woods was overwhelmed by nausea during the third round, coughing up into a towel before his opening tee shot and vomiting as he made his way up the third fairway.
“Wasn’t easy and I fought hard,” Woods whispered to reporters after also losing his voice. “That’s about all I had.”
Woods, who has become a focus of the week as he returns after a four-month absence to rehabilitate his injured back, skipped Friday night’s gala at the tournament that benefits his foundation, but made his tee time for the third round.
“If I can go, I can go,” said Woods, who finished the round with three successive birdies. “I like to compete.”
Spieth, who became the youngest winner on the PGA Tour in 82 years when he won the John Deere Classic at 19, was delighted with his play.
“This is the best I’ve played in a 54-hole stretch in my life,” said Spieth. “I don’t think I’ve ever finished 20 under par for a tournament, so that is a good goal for tomorrow.”