WHILE Tiger Woods struggled in his return from a four-month layoff, it was Jordan Spieth whose overpowering Hero World Challenge victory has revived memories of Woods in his prime.
The 21-year-old American, coming off an Australian Open triumph a week earlier, fired a six-under par 66 to complete a wire-to-wire triumph in the elite 18-player event at Isleworth.
Spieth's 26-under 262 total and his victory margin of 10 strokes over Swedish world number two Henrik Stenson were both tournament records.
"This is the best I've ever played, which is what I said in Sydney last week," Spieth said. "Hopefully I'll look back and continue to get better."
Spieth, a runner-up at this year's Masters who led late before falling to Bubba Watson, is showing form to rival world number one Rory McIlroy.
"To take it to the next level, to win a major, I've got to look to Rory," Spieth said. "He's the one we're all chasing. I did a good job of beginning that chase the past couple weeks."
Spieth said in Australia he was "far, far away" from the level of McIlroy, this year's British Open and PGA Championship winner, but he feels he has closed the gap and is "now just far away."
Spieth will be the same age then as Woods was in 1997 when winning his first major at the Masters, but the latest US prodigy played down any notion he might be the "next Tiger," stressing a first major win and McIlroy's top ranking are his targets.
"I understand that when I'm out here and I'm one of the young guys, people want to see somebody come up and do what Tiger did and change a generation of golf," Spieth said.
"That's not necessarily what I'm out here to do. I'm out here to try and win each tournament I'm in. If you happen to win majors, which is the ultimate goal, then great.
"But right now I look at number one in the world Rory McIlroy, what he did this year, and I'm trying to chase him more than I am anything else."
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