Bubba Watson was a late entry into the 2015 Hero World Challenge field and made the most of the opportunity. Originally concerned that he couldn't get a passport for his young daughter in time, Watson turned down an invitation to The Bahamas, then ended up in the field when Jason Day withdrew.
Watson's 25-under-par 263 gave him a three-stroke victory over Patrick Reed, though a bogey on the 18th on Sunday kept him from tying Jordan Spieth's tournament scoring record. Watson shot 67-67-63-66, and by going low on moving day -- his bogey-free round helped him tie the course record -- he put himself in the lead entering Sunday's final round.
2016 Hero World Challenge TV information
Follow 18 of the world's best golfers at the 2016 Hero World Challenge. Live television coverage starts Thursday for Round 1 and continues each day until a champion is crowned.
- Thursday: Golf Channel, 1:00-4:30 p.m.
- Friday: Golf Channel, 1:00-4:30 p.m.
- Saturday: Golf Channel, 12-2:30 p.m.; NBC, 2:30-5 p.m.
- Sunday: Golf Channel, 11 a.m.-1 p.m; NBC, 1-4 p.m.
All times are Eastern time.
2016 Hero World Challenge by the numbers
- 18 players
- Seven countries represented; 12 players from the United States
- Four past Hero World Challenge winners: Tiger Woods (2001, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2011), Zach Johnson (2013), Jordan Spieth (2014), Bubba Watson (2015)
- 173 PGA TOUR wins; 25 major championship wins
- 12 returning players from the 2015 Hero World Challenge field (Z. Johnson, Dustin Johnson, Spieth, Watson, Reed, Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose, Jimmy Walker, Matt Kuchar, Brooks Koepka, J.B. Holmes and Hideki Matsuyama)
- Three first-time participants in the Hero World Challenge (Russell Knox, Louis Oosthuizen, Emiliano Grillo)
- 14: Most appearances in the Hero World Challenge by one player (Woods)
Major championship winners
The 2016 Hero World Challenge field includes the winners of three of this year's major championships -- D. Johnson (U.S. Open), Henrik Stenson (The Open Championship) and Walker (PGA Championship). It includes nine major championship winners totaling 25 major championship trophies. Woods (14), Z. Johnson (2), Watson (2) and Spieth (2) are multiple major winners. Rose (2013 U.S. Open) and Oosthuizen (2010 British Open) are the other major championship winners in the field.
Other big wins in 2016 from the Hero World Challenge field of golfers include Rose's victory at the first Olympic golf competition in 100 years and two FedExCup Playoff victories -- Reed at The Barclays and D. Johnson at the BMW Championship.
Ryder Cup redux
This year's Hero World Challenge will feature 12 players who participated in the 2016 Ryder Cup, including 10 from the victorious U.S. squad -- D. Johnson, Z. Johnson, Koepka, Reed, Spieth, Fowler, Kuchar, Walker, Holmes and Brandt Snedeker. Members of Team Europe heading to Albany include Rose and Stenson. Additionally, Woods and Watson served as vice captains of the U.S. team.