- Associated Press - Saturday, December 5, 2015

NASSAU, Bahamas (AP) - What if Jordan Spieth could win only one tournament next year? He wasted no time with his answer.

“The Masters,” he said.

That’s true for a lot of players. However, Spieth already has a green jacket from his record-tying performance at Augusta National this year. It would seem he would prefer to win the British Open or the PGA Championship to get closer to the career Grand Slam. Or maybe even a gold medal from the Olympics because that only comes around once every four years, and for golf once in more than a century.

Nope. He wants the Masters.

“I wasn’t lying to you guys every time you ask me the one tournament I ever wanted to win,” he said. “If I could win one event in my whole life, it’s the Masters.”

He was reminded again he had already done that. And the 22-year-old just smiled.

“I know,” he said. “It was fun.”

For now, he wouldn’t mind another repeat victory in the Hero World Challenge. Spieth took a step in that direction Friday when he recovered from a rugged start and posted a 6-under 66 to share the lead with Jimmy Walker and Bill Haas going into the weekend at Albany Golf Club.

And this is fun, too, even if it doesn’t always show. Yes, he’s in the Bahamas. But on the golf course, he might as well be at Augusta National. He still gets irritated at his misses. He still tries to make everything. And he still talks to his golf ball.

Consider a delicate flop shot he tried to play from short of the 14th green on Thursday.

“Nope,” he said when the ball came off the club. “Get lucky.”

And he was, as the ball trickled onto the green.

Spieth, Walker (67) and Haas (66) were at 11-under 133. That’s the same 36-hole score Spieth had last year at Isleworth in this tournament, when he took a two-shot lead over Henrik Stenson into the weekend, added rounds of 63-66 and won by 10 shots.

It might not be so easy this time.

CROWDED AT THE TOP: For one brief moment Friday, there was a seven-way tie for the lead. When the second round was over, there was a trio at the top - and another trio right behind them. Patrick Reed and Chris Kirk tied the course record with a 65 and Bubba Watson had a 67 to finish one shot out of the lead.

The Hero World Challenge features an 18-man field. Half of them were within three shots of the lead.

SPIETH’S RECOVERY: Spieth had one chip roll back to his feet that led to bogey on the par-5 third. His tee shot on the par-3 fifth took a hard bounce and led to another bogey. That put him at 1 over for the round through five holes, and a little frustration. He said to his caddie going to the sixth tee, “Everything feels awesome, I’m just not scoring.” Michael Greller’s reply: Hang in there and make sure there are plenty of birdie chances.

Spieth birdied the next three holes. He made a long eagle putt on No. 11 and two more birdies. All was well.

WALKER’S PROGRESS: Walker was ready to shut it down for the year after Las Vegas when he was asked to fill in for Billy Horschel in the Dunlop Phoenix in Japan. Big mistake. He missed the cut by two shots, extending five months of sub-standard play. It was enough for him to agree with Butch Harmon’s suggestion of moving his head at impact (think David Duval, just not as pronounced), and he began making the change a week ago Sunday.

So far, so good. He drove the ball as well as he has all year and shot 67 and was tied for the lead.

“It’s still something I have to work on,” he said. “But it’s fun.”

CARD OF THE DAY: Billy Horschel ordinarily would take a scorecard of eight birdies and no bogeys.

Two problems. A double bogey on the par-3 second hole, and a quadruple-bogey 9 on the par-5 11th.

“This round today is very much how my year went,” Horschel said with a grin.

WEATHER: Clouds gathered and rain appeared to be moving in fast. J.B. Holmes finished his round and headed straight for the practice range. Halfway there, he felt the cool wind of a front coming through, looked at the clouds and an empty range, and instead decided to go for lunch.

The forecast is for thunderstorms Saturday afternoon, so the tee times have been moved forward with hopes of finishing by 2:30 p.m. local time.

Good weather at Albany means good scores. For the second straight day, Hideki Matsuyama was the only player over par. He shot 73.

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