Sports

Woods’ ‘Hero Shot’ finds Bulls eye, stage set for the starry event

V Krishnaswamy Albany | Updated on December 03, 2019 Published on December 03, 2019

Tiger Woods with Pawan Munjal at the ‘Hero Shot at Baha Mar’ competition on the eve of Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas   -  Mario Nixon

 

Tiger Woods set the tone for the week knocking in precision-laden shots to a customised target set 130 yards away to win the Hero Shot at Baha Mar, an innovative addition to the star-studded Hero World Challenge that gets underway on Wednesday.

Making his way into the final of the six-man field, Woods fired one more salvo in the final for his generation as he beat Jordan Spieth, whose winning 26-under at the 2014 HWC edition in Orlando had announced his arrival on world stage.

Pawan Munjal, Chairman of Hero MotoCorp, gave away a prize - a ‘paddle’ resembling a cricket bat with Woods’ autograph, to the winner, Woods.

ONE Bahamas fund

Munjal also won the hearts of the locals, hit by Hurricane Dorian, by announcing that the tournament will donate $500 for each birdie this week and $1,000 for every eagle and $ 2,500 for aces it would go towards the ONE Bahamas fund to rebuild the hurricane-hit areas in the Bahamas, which has been home for the Hero World Challenge for five years.

Six of the 18-man field found a place in the ‘Hero Shot at Baha Mar’ line-up which included four Major winners - Woods, Spieth, Henrik Stenson and Gary Woodland besides Jon Rahm and Bryson DeChambeau.

It was a carnival time and the fans, visitors, inclusive, danced to the music as both sides of the raised stage had over 1,000 fans with colourful drinks in their hand.

Each player had six balls to hit and score as many points as possible and the target rings were worth 100, 200 and 500 points for a bulls’ eye. The sixth ball in each round was worth double.

The first three match-ups saw Stenson beat Rahm; Spieth beat Woodland and Woods disposed of DeChambeau without needing the sixth shot and the ball being tossed into the crowd. DeChambeau’s ‘mathematical’ approach to golf got ribbed, but all was in jest.

In the second round, the three winners had six shots each and Woods and Spieth advanced to the final. Woods once again needed just five shots.

Once again, Woods with a sense of drama, sent the crowds wild in the final. With both Woods and Spieth tied after the former’s fifth shot, the legend hit his wedge perfectly for a Bulls’ eye and victory. “My swing felt pretty good tonight,” said Woods, before adding how much it meant to have a great turnout for a tournament that he’s been putting on for more than 20 years. He added, “It’s a big week and a big day.”

The appetiser served, it was time for the main course to arrive and it does so with 18 of the world’s best.

World ranking

The field this week (in order of World Ranking) is: Jon Rahm (3); Justin Thomas (5), Patrick Cantlay (6), Tiger Woods (7), Justin Rose (8), Xander Schauffele (9), Webb Simpson (11), Bryson DeChambeau (12), Tony Finau (16), Patrick Reed (17), Gary Woodland (18), Rickie Fowler (22), Matt Kuchar (23), Chez Reavie (36), Kevin Kisner (37), Henrik Stenson (40), Bubba Watson (41), Jordan Spieth (44).

Published on December 03, 2019
  1. Comments will be moderated by The Hindu Business Line editorial team.
  2. Comments that are abusive, personal, incendiary or irrelevant cannot be published.
  3. Please write complete sentences. Do not type comments in all capital letters, or in all lower case letters, or using abbreviated text. (example: u cannot substitute for you, d is not 'the', n is not 'and').
  4. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.
  5. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name, to avoid rejection.