5 Things: 4-way tie for Crowne lead; Scott, Dufner close
Saturday, May 24, 2014
There was plenty of movement on the Crowne Plaza Invitational leaderboard on Saturday, as four players did enough to capture a share of the lead at Colonial.
Hideki Matsuyama, David Toms, Chad Campbell and Chris Stroud are all at 7 under after 54 holes, but will need to hold off the likes of Jason Dufner, Adam Scott, Jordan Spieth and Jimmy Walker on Sunday in Fort Worth, Texas.
Here are 5 Things you need to know after Saturday's third round:
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1. LOGJAM: There is plenty of firepower in the field this week at the Crowne Plaza, but the four-way tie atop the 54-hole leaderboard doesn't feature players that came into the week at the peak of their respective games.
Hideki Matsuyama (6-under 64 on Saturday), David Toms (65), Chad Campbell (68) and Chris Stroud (69) have a combined five top-10 performances this season, with Campbell flirting more with cuts than victories.
But none of that will matter on Sunday, and here is a closer look at the tale of the tape for each:
• Matsuyama is the highest ranked player in the group, sitting at No. 26 in the latest Official World Golf Ranking. Matsuyama's best finish this season is a T-3 at the Frys.com Open, the first tournament of the wraparound 2014 Tour season, and has finished no worse than T-38 in 10 made cuts this season. Matsuyama, 22, does know how to win, picking up five titles on the Japan Golf Tour prior to becoming a full-time member on the PGA Tour this season.
• Toms has struggled at times in 2014, missing five of 12 cuts while earning just over $375,000. The LSU product has had a rough 18 months on Tour, picking up one top-10 finish in 2013 and 2014. Toms is playing for a milestone this week, needing a $110,000 paycheck to surpass $40 million in career earnings. Toms has 13 Tour titles to his credit, but has only one since 2006 – at the 2011 Colonial.
• Campbell, ranked No. 448 in the world, hasn't surpassed the $100,000 mark in earnings this season, missing 5 of 10 cuts on Tour and a pair of T-36s his best performances. Campbell last won on Tour in 2007, but does have four career victories under his belt, so he knows how to finish under Sunday pressure.
• Stroud has been knocking on the door in 2014, picking up a pair of third-place finishes at the CIMB Classic and OHL Classic at Mayakoba. He has struggled his last three tournaments, missing two cuts and finishing T-80 at the Players Championship. A full-time PGA Tour member since 2007, the Lamar University product has yet to win – his best finish coming in 2013 where he lost in a playoff at the Travelers Championship.
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2. THEY'RE LURKING: There are 13 players within two shots of the lead – with seven more just three back – heading into Sunday's final round.
The names are quite impressive as well, with three-time Tour winner Jimmy Walker and perennial Colonial contender Tim Clark among six players just one shot back. Meanwhile, Adam Scott, Bo Van Pelt and Jason Dufner are in a group of seven players at 5 under and two shots back.
Jordan Spieth fired an even-par 70 to stay at 4 under, but is just three shots behind.
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3. WHO'S NO. 1? Adam Scott said he enjoyed a bottle of Dom Perignon after ascending to No. 1 in the OWGR on Monday, moving past Tiger Woods.
His run at No. 1 could very well end this week however, as Henrik Stenson's performance at the BMW PGA Championship is setting up a Trans-Atlantic battle on Sunday.
Scott fired a 4-under 66 on Saturday at Colonial, climbing to a share of 11th after flirting with missing the cut on Friday. Scott will start the final round two shots back of the leaders with a realistic shot at the title.
Stenson has less of a chance at victory, entering the final round of the BMW at T-7 and nine shots back of Thomas Bjorn – but that doesn't mean much when it comes to the math behind the OWGR.
"I can only worry about my golf here. Worrying about that isn't going to help me at all. It's all very tight. We know that. I'm happy to have gotten to No. 1. I hope it's not such a short stay," said Scott.
Here are the scenarios for Stenson to become No. 1 on Sunday:
• If Scott finishes 20th, Stenson will need a top-12 finish.
• If Scott is 10th, Stenson will need a top-6 finish.
• If Scott is 5th, Stenson will need a top-4 finish.
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4. BIG-NAME TROUBLE: Granted, rounds of 3 over or 4 over aren't awful on a tour that routinely sees 78s or 80s.
For Dustin Johnson, though, a 74 cost him 56 spots on the leaderboard Saturday – dropping him from T-4 to start the day all the way down to T-50 and six shots back of the lead. It was the biggest slide of the day.
Johnson shot even par on the back nine to earn some reason for optimism. But his front nine had just one birdie against three bogeys and a double bogey. Not a terrible day, but penalizing nonetheless in a tightly bunched field. In fact, 74 was the day's high score, matched by six others including Davis Love III and third-round leader Brice Garnett.
Nearly as costly were the 73s carded by Harris English and Brandt Snedeker, who slid from T-11 to T-50. English birdied No. 2 but went on to scatter four bogeys, while Snedeker had bogeys at Nos. 3 and 5, a lone birdie at No. 7 and bogeys at Nos. 13-14.
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5. SHORT SHOTS: Other notables rounds of 74, the day's high, include Robert Streb, who began the day T-2, and defending champ Boo Weekley. … Brendon Todd, looking for his second PGA Tour win after his first came last week at the HP Byron Nelson Championship, shot 67 to stand T-11 at 5 under, just two off the lead and in position to make a run. … Zach Johnson, aiming for his sixth straight top-10 at Colonial, shot 69 Saturday and is T-56 at even par. … Jeff Curl, who got in via a "Champion's Choice" invitation, shot 71 and stands T-63 at 1 over.