Bubba claims Hero title in the Bahamas

Bubba Watson won the Hero World Challenge by three shots from Patrick Reed

Bubba Watson wins Hero World Challenge
Bubba Watson wins Hero World Challenge
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Bubba Watson of the USA fired a final round of 66 to win the Hero World Challenge by three shots from countryman Patrick Reed. He finished 25-under-par and earned $1 million.

Bubba Watson of the USA fired a final round of 66 to win the Hero World Challenge by three shots from countryman Patrick Reed. He finished 25-under-par and earned $1 million.

Watson was two clear going into the final day and he moved further ahead with four birdies in his first seven holes. He never looked threatened and could afford to make a bogey up the home hole and still win with something to spare.

Patrick Reed also fired a 66 to claim second place and move into the top-10 on the Official World Golf Ranking. Rickie Fowler scored an excellent 64 to end the week in third, one ahead of World Number 1 Jordan Spieth.

4 Talking points from the Hero World Challenge

1 – Bubba Watson almost didn’t play in the event. He turned down an invitation originally as he didn’t have a passport for his newly adopted daughter Dakota. But when Jason Day pulled out, Watson’s wife fast-tracked the application process and the family was able to travel. "I guess I've got to thank Jason Day for backing out. I have to thank the U.S. government and passport office for getting Dakota a passport so we could be here," Watson said. "For us, it's a good ride, a fun ride." This was Watson’s ninth career victory and the second year running he has won multiple titles.

2 – Jordan Spieth had a run at the title and was just three back until he missed a short putt on the 9th. He couldn’t get the putter working over the home stretch and he fell back, ending the week in fourth, five behind Watson. But he and caddy Michael Greller were able to reflect on an incredible year as they walked up the 18th; one in which Spieth has won two Majors, the Tour Championship and become World Number 1. "Michael said, `Hey, man, it's been an honor to be in the passenger seat, sitting shotgun for this ride. Thanks for everything,'" Spieth said. "I obviously thanked him. It's been a team effort this year, just as we always stress. But yeah, there was certainly a sigh of relief."

3 – Englishmen Paul Casey and Justin Rose enjoyed mixed fortunes in New Providence. Casey had a chance to put pressure on Watson after a birdie at the 13th got him to four-under for the final day. But a double bogey on the 16th put paid to his chances. Justin Rose hadn’t showed much form over the first three days, failing to break 70 in any of the rounds. But he caught fire in round four and ripped around in a course record 62.

Paul Casey swing sequence:

4 – India’s Anirban Lahiri and Hideki Matsuyama of Japan couldn’t get it going in the Bahamas and they finished tied for last place, fully 21 shots behind Bubba Watson. But it was hardly a wasted week for them. They earned $102,500 each for their efforts. Not bad for playing poorly.

Hero World Challenge Albany, New Providence, Bahamas Dec 3-6 Purse: $3,500,000, par 72

1    Bubba Watson (USA)    67    67    63    66    263    $1,000,000 2    Patrick Reed (USA)    69    65    66    66    266    $400,000 3    Rickie Fowler (USA)    70    68    65    64    267    $250,000 4    Jordan Spieth (USA)    67    66    68    67    268    $175,000 T5    Paul Casey (Eng)        66    70    63    70    269    $147,500 T5    Bill Haas (USA)        67    66    68    68    269    $147,500 7    Brooks Koepka (USA)    67    70    65    68    270    $140,000 T8    J.B. Holmes (USA)    71    68    68    64    271    $130,000 T8    Jimmy Walker (USA)    66    67    71    67    271    $130,000 T10    Chris Kirk (USA)        69    65    66    72    272    $117,500 T10    Adam Scott (Aus)        67    70    66    69    272    $117,500 

Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin (also of Golf Monthly)... Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?