The only thing we’ve learned over three days at The Shell Houston Open is that without Tiger Woods to dominate a golf tournament on the PGA Tour, it’s turned into a free for all on the leaderboard. We have 13 players within two shots of the lead, and another ten with a realistic chance to lift the trophy at the Redstone Golf Course on Sunday afternoon. Seven players within four shots of the lead have never won a PGA golf tournament, and twelve of them still haven’t qualified for the Masters, and one had to qualify on Monday to make the tournament.
2009 British Open Champion, Stewart Cink has a share of the 54 hole lead with 2012 Northern Trust Open winner Bill Haas. Cink was given a gift at TurnBerry in 2009 when at the time, 59-year-old Tom Watson hit a pumped up 8 iron over the 18th green, and gave him his only major championship. His best finish since that victory was a third place in the World Series of Golf in a four man field. In 81 starts since becoming a major champion, he has missed the cut 30 percent of the time. He has plunged to No. 272 in the world ranking.
“Tomorrow is a great learning opportunity for me to get out there and be nervous and perform and try to stay in the moment and let it happen,” Cink said. “I can’t wait.”
Bill Haas was a 36 hole co-leader last week at Bay Hill, but was just another victim at a tournament that was supposed to be won by Tiger Woods. Haas went out on Saturday afternoon in Texas, and made seven birdies down the stretch to grab a share of the overnight lead. He will play in the final group on Sunday with Stewart Cink.
“Tomorrow you’re going to have to play very well,” Haas said. “You can’t just hang on and hope everybody else will fall back.”
Sunday afternoon should provide the kind of drama a true golf fan looks for in a tournament. Some comments I’ve read around the internet has shown some disappointment that no big names are in the lead here, but isn’t that what makes this game so great. On a day that golf will have to compete against “March Madness” and what looks to be an exciting Florida Michigan match-up, The final round at Houston will have 20 players less than four strokes back on a golf course that will yield birdies, but with the Texas wind, and some very firm greens, can yield double bogeys just as quick.
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