Defending the Hero – Jordan’s quest

Jordan Spieth is defending champion at the Hero World Challenge

Jordan Spieth defends Hero World Challenge
Jordan Spieth defends Hero World Challenge
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Jordan Spieth defends the Hero World Challenge hosted by Tiger Woods. 17 of the world’s best players will aim to stop the World Number 1 doing so.

First contested in 1999, the inaugural instalment of this event (then known as the Williams World Challenge) was won by Tom Lehman. Since then Tiger Woods has won the title five times with Davis Love III, Padraig Harrington, Luke Donald, Vijay Singh, Graeme McDowell and Zach Johnson the other champions.

Last year, Jordan Spieth produced a superb display to win by 10 shots from Henrik Stenson at Isleworth in Florida. It was a key victory for Spieth and he used it as a springboard to go on and enjoy a stellar season in 2015.

Spieth is coming into this event on the back of a solid performance in Australia so will be confident of further success in the tournament. Tiger Woods will not be playing this season, but plenty of star names are on the start sheet. Rickie Fowler, Dustin Johnson, Justin Rose, Zach Johnson and Bubba Watson will all tee it up. No fewer than 11 of the top-20 players in the world will contest this event.

There’s a new venue for this year’s tournament – the Albany resort at New Providence in the Bahamas. The course there has been designed by Ernie Els and it delivers a desert feel with its windswept dunes. There are also many challenging, yet aesthetically appealing, water features to negotiate.

The weather forecast isn’t great. Rain will play a part all week and there’s a high chance of thunderstorms. Delays to the play look likely.

Venue: Albany, New Providence, Bahamas Date: Dec 3-6 Course stats: par 72, 7,400 yards Purse: $3,500,000 Winner: $1,000,000 Defending Champion: Jordan Spieth (-26)

TV Coverage: Thursday  – Sky Sports 4 from 5pm Friday – Sky Sports 4 from 5pm Saturday  – Sky Sports 4 from 5pm Sunday  – Sky Sports 4 from 5pm

Player watch:

Jordan Spieth – The defending champion was second in the Australian Open last week so is clearly on good form. He looks like winning every time he tees it up.

Justin Rose – The Englishman has been on great form from tee to green and just needs to find a little more self-belief with the putter. If he can do that this week he’ll be right up there.

Justin Rose swing sequence:

Patrick Reed – He played well in this event last year and has been showing some good stuff on the European Tour towards the end of 2015.

Key hole: 18th. A typically challenging finishing hole, it’s 470 yards with a lake all down the left side. Anything hooking from the tee will end up wet, while a bail out right will likely find sand. The green is also well protected. This one demands two excellent and precise shots.

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He 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 history section of "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?