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Sunday, 10 May 2015

Should Be Good

Things are certainly looking interesting for the final round of the Players. With a host of players within five shots of the lead; in fact the most crowded leaderboard in Players tournament history, it appears to be anyone's tournament. 

It's been a week where we've seen some hot players leave early, including Jordan Spieth and Justin Rose. We've seen a Tiger fist pump because he managed to birdie the last hole to make the cut on the number. We've also seen a continuation of Tiger's woes on the golf course, with wayward driving, a resurgence of that questionable short game, and mediocre putting. After a third round 75, one wonders where it will all end. The magic is simply gone.

A remarkably calm, Chris Kirk takes a one shot lead into the final round. His history with a lead is such that he will not likely spit the bit, and those chasing him will have to make birdies to beat him. Justin Thomas is one back and would make a compelling winner, adding his name to Spieth's perhaps as one of the bright American lights for the future. Bill Haas is one back as well, and we know what he can sometimes produce on the big stage. And then, there's Sergio, fighting a balky putter, but still only two back. His interview after the third round suggests he is not a very happy camper because of his putting woes, but today, the hole might suddenly become as big as a bucket for him. Who knows?

If, however, I had to pick someone to come out of the pack and seize the day, I'd be looking at Rory McIlroy and Billy Horschel. Rory seems to be out to prove he belongs at number one, despite the recent brilliance of Jordan Spieth. Horschel just looks dangerous. He's probably still smarting from his match play loss to Rory last week, and wants to make a statement of his own.

And then, of course, there is Kevin Na and Jerry Kelly, both of whom would be real feel good stories if they could take the prize. The one thing we can be certain of today is that it's going to be a shootout. Someone is going to go out there and win it by firing a great round and surviving seventeen and eighteen on the way to victory.