In the Bahamas, Nassau is the capital city. Collin Morikawa carded an 8-under 64 on Saturday to create a five-shot lead over the rest of the field at the Hero World Challenge and move one step closer to the top of the world rankings.
For the two-year rolling formula, Morikawa would only hold the top spot for a week at most. Only 24 other athletes have managed to top the rankings since they began in 1986.
Tiger Woods, who has held the No. 1 ranking for the longest time, was in the broadcast booth and witnessed a command performance.
First bogey-free round of the week at Albany Golf Club, Morikawa only came within a shot of making one on the back nine as his rivals struggled to maintain pace.
After a bogey-double-bogey on the par-3 eighth hole, Brooks Koepka recovered with two birdies on the final two holes. In order to get into the final group, he had to shoot a 69 on this particular day.
Play well and hope for the best,” Koepka said. “That’s all I can say right now.”
At the halfway point of the tournament, Morikawa stood at 18-under 198. He won the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai on Sunday, becoming the first American to hold the No. 1 ranking on the European Tour.
After Morikawa finished the first hole in the final group, a small group of spectators remained behind and made their way to the rear of Albany’s practice range to witness someone who was not in the 20-man field: Tiger Woods.
A touch of class from the bunker on 18. 👏@Collin_Morikawa leads by FIVE at the Hero World Challenge. pic.twitter.com/XAPuntrY8g
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) December 4, 2021
In the 10 months since a car accident that left him with a gravely wounded right leg, talk has been rife that he and his 12-year-old son Charlie will be teeing off at the PNC Championship in two weeks.
The tournament organizers have reserved a place for him in the competition.
In the end, Tiger Woods wasn’t quite ready to commit to that and his return to the PGA Tour was still doubtful.
During the tournament, he boasted to the NBC crew, “I can hit it.” There’s not a lot of mileage in it.” According to yet another joke, “I can hear it land” is not a characteristic of his short-hitting.
But he insisted that he had a long way to go before he could compete with the world’s greatest golfers.
The precision and deliberate manner in which the 24-year-old Californian hacked through Albany on the course from Morikawa must have appeared familiar to him.
It was also familiar to see the rest of the candidates fleeing the stage.
Bryson DeChambeau had a one-shot lead going into the third round, but that quickly disappeared. This is a tremendous break for him, as it bounced off the back of the green and into the putting area around 15 feet away. And then he bogeyed three times in a row.
With a score of 73, he’s suddenly eight shots back.
With an eagle on the par-5 11th and four straight birdies, Sam Burns closed the gap on Morikawa to two strokes. On the par-3 17th, he bogeyed and finished with a double bogey to shoot a 68 and fall six strokes behind.
On the third hole, Daniel Berger had a lost ball and a double bogey, but recovered by making two eagles and losing two strokes on the final three holes, including a water hazard tee shot on the 18th. His score was 69, six strokes behind.
They were in a three-way tie for third place with Viktor Hovland, Patrick Reed, and Tony Finau, who all shot 67.
After recording a quadruple-bogey 9 on the 11th hole, Rory McIlroy never had a chance to get back into contention at the Memorial Tournament. He scored a 75 on the test.
It was the first time Jordan Spieth has played after becoming a parent, and his round was the only one to go over par. It took him two shots to get out of a hole-in-one on the 18th green because his ball had moved.
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