World No.1 Scottie Scheffler produced an irresistible display to lead from the front and close out the Hero World Challenge despite a strong charge by Sepp Straka, who shot a bogey-free 64.
Scheffler barely missed a shot en-route to a 68, with there also being plenty of interest at the other end of the leaderboard too, with Tiger Woods making his first competitive appearance in eight months as he finished 18th.
The 15-time Major winner was level par after 72 holes on his comeback from ankle surgery. Woods, who turns 48 later this month, reflected on his successful comeback, as he stated that: "I think I have come along way.
"From being a little bit rusty to playing four days and the physicality of actually playing and competing again. I wish I would have played a little cleaner but there is always next time. I am a little bit sore but playing once a month seems reasonable and gives me a couple of weeks to recover and get into the rhythm. I don't see why that would change."
However, the day belonged to Scheffler, who produced a blemish free final day, with birdies at the sixth and seventh being followed by birdies at the 14th and 15th. Throughout the final round he never look flustered and, with the new putter in the bag, he will certainly be a force come 2024.
Hero World Challenge scores
- -20 Scheffler
- -17 Straka
- -16 Thomas
- -15 Finau, Fitzpatrick
- -14 Spieth
Tiger Woods' score
- Round 4: E
- Tournament: E (after 72 holes)
HE MAY NOT BE TOP OF LEADERBOARD BUT TIGER IS DEFINITELY BACK
Happy Sunday. pic.twitter.com/QPWLXf8eePDecember 3, 2023
TIGER WEARS HIS TRADEMARK RED FOR FINAL ROUND
Tiger has looked liked he means business this week in his first competitive tournament since pulling out of the Masters crocked. He has a new swing after ankle surgery but some of his old habits remain.
Sunday red is back 🐅 pic.twitter.com/oHDIlqrxwjDecember 3, 2023
WOODS PREPARES FOR FINAL ROUND IN HIS COMEBACK
Woods will tee off shortly at level par for the tournament after an encouraging 71 yesterday. Tiger has shown he still has the shots , but what was in doubt was his fitness and ability to walk four rounds in succession given his injury nightmares. It is this aspect, the 15-time Major winner seems most encouraged by. “I'm very excited at how I have felt physically,” he said. “[I have] showed myself that I can recover each and every day, that was kind of an unknown as far as I've walked this far. I've done all my training, but add in playing and concentration and adrenaline and all those other factors that speed up everything.”
WOODS GRABS THE ATTENTION BUT SCHEFFLER IS MAN TO CATCH
Woods is tied 16th in the 20-man field in the Bahamas, where the man everyone is chasing is Scottie Scheffler, who appears to have sorted his putting shortcomings. The American's recent weakness has been with the flat stick but his putting seems noticeably better this week since starting working with guru Phil Kenyon.
SOLID START BY TIGER AFTER OPENING PAR
Woods remains at even par for the tournament after opening with a four having hit the middle of the fairway before finding the green in regulation ahead of two putts.
Here we go 🐅@TigerWoods’ final round is underway in the Bahamas. pic.twitter.com/EnYjvcywLDDecember 3, 2023
TROUBLE AT SECOND FOR TIGER
Woods has dropped two shots on the 177-yard par 3 second hole after missing the green to the right off the tee. The American then saw a bump and run up the bank came back to his feet before eventually finding the green, missing the putt and signing for a five.
WOODS WITH A CHANCE TO BOUNCE BACK ON THIRD
Woods has an opportunity to respond to his double bogey on the second right away on the 549-yard par 5 third where he hit another fine drive 329 yards before firing an iron 227 yards to the fringe of the green in two.
WOODS PULLS A SHOT BACK AND FINDS THE FOURTH FAIRWAY
Tiger has responded well to his double bogey on the par three second with a birdie at the third ,where his eagle putt flashed past the hole, and he has now driven on to the fairway at the fourth.
ANOTHER TEST FOR TIGER'S SHORT GAME ON FOURTH
Woods' approach to the 497-yard par four fourth found the green but skipped through to leave the former world No.1 with another chip. It is the fourth successive day Woods has missed the green here. But unlike the second earlier, Woods produced a successful chip to leave himself a tap in par.
WOODS DRAINS MONSTER PUTT TO GET BACK TO EVEN
After a shocking double on the par 3 second, Woods is back to level par for the day and the tournament after dropping a 34-foot putt on the par 3 fifth for his second birdie. Woods now has to be careful to keep his momentum at the next after missing the fairway on the right off the tee.
The year is 2023.@TigerWoods is wearing red and making birdies 🐅 pic.twitter.com/s2JIWNpiDdDecember 3, 2023
WOODS INTO RED NUMBERS TO MATCH HIS SHIRT
Woods' round continues to impress after responding superbly to a disastrous start. After coming up just short of the par 5 sixth in two, Woods chipped up past the hole and drained an 11-foot birdie coming back to move to -1 for his round and -1 for the tournament. His putting looks good along with his mentality and fitness post his ankle op.
WOODS JUST MISSES OUT ON A THIRD STRAIGHT BIRDIE
Tiger's 305-yard drive at the short par four seventh came up just short of the green and he chipped up close but just missed the putt as a chance of another birdie passed him by.
LEADERS NOW ALL UNDERWAY AS SPIETH SCRAMBLES DRAMATIC PAR
Chipping in for par? Just @JordanSpieth things. pic.twitter.com/Xas5FNPb70December 3, 2023
WOODS DROPS A SHOT AT PAR 3 EIGHTH
The thrills and spills continue for Tiger on his comeback. After missing a birdie putt on seven, Woods has now dropped a shot on the eighth after missing the par 3 green to the right. Over cutting the ball seems to be his consistent miss today and it again proved costly as his par putt curled around the hole for a bogey.
CURIOUS CASE OF COLLIN MORIKAWA'S PENALTY
Anyone confused by Collin Morikawa's scoring should know he has been docked two shots by the Tour from his third round score when he was judged to have used green reading material on the 4th yesterday in breach of Model Local Rule G-11. The PGA Tour elaborated to explain that Morikawa's caddie used a machine to assess the speed of the greens on the practice putting green and then added the readings into his greens book which he consulted on the 4th yesterday incurring the penalty.
WOODS IS LEVEL AT THE TURN AS SCHEFFLER'S LEAD INCREASES
Tiger makes a good 14-foot putt on the par 5 ninth green to save par and stay level for his round and the tournament. While at the top of the leaderboard, Scottie Scheffler is now four infront after Matt Fitzpatrick dropped a shot on the third.
STRAKA ON THE CHARGE
Sepp Straka has got to three shots of the leader amid a stunning final day. The Austrian Ryder Cup hero is -4 after seven holes at -13 in total after reeling off four birdies. He could emerge as Scheffler's main challenger.
WOODS DROPS A SHOT TO SLIP TO +1
Woods is now +1 for the day and for the tournament after dropping a shot at the par 5 11th. Woods came up short in two on the right side and ended up missing a six foot putt for par. I think Woods would do very well to finish level par as there are a few signs the rigours of the week are starting to catch up with the veteran.
WOODS PARS 12TH AFTER MISSING BIRDIE PUTT
The battle at the top of the leaderboard is hotting up with Straka pushing hardest to chase down our leader Scheffler, who is just got back to back birdies. While at the other end of the 20-man field, Tiger is 18th after a par on the 12th before hitting the par four 13th in regulation too.
NIGHTMARE CONTINUES FOR MORIKAWA
As if being docked two shots before he even teed off wasn't bad enough, Morikawa is set to slip further down the leaderboard after slashing a fairway wood into the water on the ninth when going for the par 5 in two. It compounds a bad day for the American, who learned earlier he had been penalised for his caddie using illegal readings in his greens book yesterday on the fourth after gaining them from a machine on the practise green.
WOODS HAS EAGLE PUTT ON 14
Tiger has just driven the ball 307 yards at the par four 14th to the edge of the green to give himself a look at a possible eagle two. He appeared to have holed it from off the green but the ball lipped out and left him a tap in birdie to get back to level for the day and the tournament.
HOVLAND ON FIRE IN FINAL ROUND
Vitkor Hovland is out of the running for the title you would imagine but he is an incredible -10 after 15 holes today after two eagles. The FedExCup champ , who has won here before, is yet to drop a shot and could potentially set a new course record today.
328 yards ➡️ 5 feet 💪Viktor Hovland is feeling it in the Bahamas. pic.twitter.com/w4h99s0fabDecember 3, 2023
WOODS MAKE SECOND SUCCESSIVE BIRDIE ON 15
Woods is back in the red at -1 for the round and for the tournament after a second straight birdie. The American holed out from just off the green after finally playing the par 5 15th well for the first time this week.
SCHEFFLER LOOKING IN TOTAL CONTROL AT THE TOP
Scottie Scheffler is enjoying a four-stroke lead the top of the leaderboard and is putting well after working with guru Phil Kenyon. He is now reading his own putts , rather than using his caddie, and is yet to three putt this week.
𝘼𝙡𝙢𝙤𝙨𝙩 an eagle for Scottie Scheffler.He’ll settle for a tap-in birdie to extend his lead to four. pic.twitter.com/jMsmQxhr0YDecember 3, 2023
WOODS' ROLLERCOASTER ROUND CONTINUES
Tiger has five birdies today but is only even par for his round and the tournament after another approach shot didn't find the green at the 16th where he then failed to two putt from off the green. It has been a feature of his round that some of his iron play has narrowly missed the green and left Tiger scrambling.
RULES CALL COULD BE WEIGHING ON FITZPATRICK
Fitzpatrick is yet to make a move up the leaderboard as he remains -13. Fitzpatrick played with Morikawa yesterday who was penalised two shots today retrospectively for his third round after his caddie used illegal readings in a greens book on the fourth. Fitzpatrick was caught on camera earlier talking to Scottie Scheffler about the furore after getting caught up in it as he was playing with Morikawa and was aware of the rules.
WOODS FINISHES WITH A FOUR FOR A LEVEL PAR 72
Tiger has just putted out on the 72nd hole for a level par 72 and an even par total in his first competitive start since the Masters which he had to quit early injured before having ankle surgery.
HIGHLY ENCOURAGING RETURN FOR WOODS
After four rounds of watching Tiger, what have we learned? We can see he has a new swing due to limited mobility in his fused right ankle but he can still use his powerful upper body to generate balls speeds of 170mph, which are in line with tour averages. His driving has been impressive and though his iron play has not been as good ,with some misses where he hasn't been able to shape his approaches as well as he would have liked, at least his putting has looked good. His fitness has also held up. Woods spoke to the media after signing for a 72 and seemed encouraged by his display which has fuelled hopes he will be able to play once a month professionally this season.
SCHEFFLER AIMING FOR FIRST WIN IN HERO WORLD CHALLENGE
SPIETH AND STRAKA ATTEMPT TO SET CLUBHOUSE LEAD
Jordan Spieth has been enjoying a trademark round featuring some remarkable shots and has got to -16 alongside Sepp Straka. The pair are just three shots back of Scheffler on -19 but are three holes ahead of him and have a chance to post a challenging total.
STRAKA MOUNTS SUPERB CHARGE BUT SCHEFFLER IS UNFLAPPABLE
What a round Sepp Straka has had with seven birdies heading up the last. He has a birdie putt at the 18th to get to -18 but his scoreboard pressure has done little to faze leader Scheffler on -20, playing three holes behind the Austrian. While Jordan Spieth's challenge has slipped with a bogey on 17 and he swore after finding the sand at the last with his approach.
STRAKA BOGEY-FREE WITH SUPERB 64 BUT UNLIKELY TO BE ENOUGH
Hats off to Sepp Straka, who seems to have grown in stature since being part of Europe's successful Ryder Cup side. He has just gone bogey-free to sign for an eight-under 64. It leaves him in the clubhouse in second on -17 but leader Scheffler is still three shots ahead and also the only other player in the field not to drop a shot yet. Standing on the 17th tee, Scheffler had hit 14 out of 16 greens in regulation and rarely looked in trouble.
“That was pure.”Yes it was.Scottie Scheffler leads by three after a two-putt birdie on No. 15. pic.twitter.com/Lm1IzMMzplDecember 3, 2023
SCHEFFLER TO STRIDE UP 18TH TO BE CROWNED CHAMP
Scheffler hit an imperious shot into the 17th to just three foot. He missed the putt and had to settle for a par 3 but has a three-shot lead going up the last and looks be heading to an inevitable victory. He has just hit a three-wood up the 18th fairway and won't be caught.
Man on a mission.Scottie Scheffler is in full control at the Hero World Challenge. pic.twitter.com/xpEaZ4zhkqDecember 3, 2023