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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Hot Dogs Abound at Colonial

Seems like everybody wants to show off at the Crowne Plaza Invitational. It's hot enough there for a cookout, and the hot dogs were out in force for the 3rd round.

Bryce Molder got it underway by one-putting the first 9 holes of his round. And if you didn't see it, he hit the one of the coolest shots I've seen in some time -- a hard flop shot to a shortside pin from about 2 feet off the green! I tried to find video of the shot, but had no luck. It was just plain cool! He's in the top 6 in Driving Accuracy, Putts per Round, and GIR.

And yet Brian Davis is #1 in putting for the week -- both Putts per Round and Putts per GIR -- and 1st in Sand Saves. He hasn't had a bogey in 42 holes... and he only had one before that. That was good enough to get him the co-leader position with Molder at 16-under.

Zach Johnson is one back. After struggling most of the year, he seems to have found his groove again. (Apparently his groove was made by the same grill affecting the other players!) Zach is #1 in GIR and #2 in Driving Accuracy.

Three guys are tied at 14-under. With one win already this year, are we going to have to start talking about Ben Crane as a favorite now? With 3 eagles this week (#1 in the field), he's also 1st in Putts per Round, 3rd in Putts per GIR, and 5th in Driving Accuracy.

Jason Bohn, also with a win this year, is in that group. He's 3rd in Driving Accuracy and 4th in GIR.

And then there's Jeff Overton. He hasn't won yet, and his stats are the worst of the leaders. His best stat is 4th in Driving Distance this week. Still, he's hanging in there, but it's going to be an uphill climb for him. (If you know how flat Texas is, you'll get the joke there. ;-)

Some good stories are lurking close by, although I don't know that they're close enough to win. Kris Blanks is one of those stories. He's T7 at 13-under; his only really good stats are 1st in Sand Saves and 3rd in GIR... but he's only got 1 bogey. If his putter gets hot, he could make a run.

A few months ago Blanks despaired of getting his Tour card. He had won the Bank of America Open back in 2008, but hadn't done much since then. Ready to pack it in after a bad day at Q-School, A.J. Eathorne -- a former LPGA player he asked to come caddy for him -- pulled him aside, gave him some encouragement, and he finished T12. You can read her blog entry about the whole episode here.

Ironically, she hasn't blogged since. Seems Kris asked her to keep looping for him and, after missing his first 3 cuts, they appear to have found something. He got a solo 2nd at the Puerto Rico Open and a T5 at the Horizon Heritage; now he's only one more good finish away from locking up his Tour card for next year. I first found out about them teaming up after the 2nd-place finish, and he said then that he didn't know if he'd have been this successful this year if it hadn't been for A.J. It's a great story for both of them.

Corey Pavin at T10 (12-under) is another good story... but not because of this tournament. As you know if you follow GolfGal's blog, amateur Peggy Ference won the US Open Challenge Contest that Golf Digest sponsors. She'll be the first woman to play in the Challenge... and Pavin called her, not just to congratulate her, but to offer his services as caddy! He's never been a long driver -- he's only averaging 255 yards this week on those baked-out fairways -- and that should make it much easier for him to give her good advice. That's a nice gesture by the Ryder Cup captain.

Well, that's how it shapes up for the final round, so you've got some idea who to watch for... assuming anybody breaks away from their cookouts long enough to watch, that is. ;-D

4 comments:

  1. I thought the talk around the Molder flop shot was fantastic. They couldn't believe he was going to try that shot...then couldn't believe how well he pulled it off. Feherty's reaction when asked why he would be trying that shot. "He's bored."

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  2. The thing that amazed me was that it wasn't even included in either TGC or PGATour.com's 3rd round highlights. How do you NOT include it? And then they wonder why people think golf is easy and only care about Tiger and Phil!

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  3. I think you answered your own question - you were expecting to see it on xxx Golf Channel.

    You couldn't be more right about these clowns only caring if a great shot was hit by Tiger or Phil. Last season, there was a shot last season from about 40 yards left of a green from under trees that had to hit into the side of a hill and run up just to have a chance to stay on the green, and he holed it out...one of the greatest shots I've ever seen...it only got one replay and was never mentioned again.

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  4. PGATour.com didn't include it either. They had several 3rd round highlight clips, but they ignored Bryce too.

    It's not just TGC, Court. Apparently the PGA Tour doesn't get it either.

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