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Friday, October 19, 2012

This Bud's on Top

I just couldn't pass that up. We've only seen three rookies win this year on the PGA Tour -- John Huh, Ted Potter Jr., and Jonas Blixt -- so Bud Cauley possibly adding to that total is news.

The fact is, Cauley's been a bit flat for the last month or so. A T57, T56, and T55 in his last three events (seriously, I'm not making that up and they're in order like that) is a drop-off from his play earlier in the season. He's made around 75% of his cuts, but he had a bad string of the misses during the summer.

You wouldn't know any of that by the way he played Thursday at the McGladrey. He posted some of his best stats this year while grabbing a share of the lead at -8. He's in the Top 4 in the field in most stats except Driving Distance and GIR, although he's driving it his normal distance and hitting about 12% more greens than normal. Granted, he does have some experience at the course; he says he's played it maybe 20 times or so -- certainly an advantage for a rookie who is usually seeing courses for the first time each week.

Some people think Cauley has a chance at Rookie of the Year. Personally my money's on John Huh, who I think accomplished more -- especially being the only rookie to make the FedExCup Playoffs. But as it stands, Cauley's 6 shots ahead of Potter, 10 ahead of Blixt (who's probably still celebrating), and Huh isn't playing. If he can win this weekend, he'll certainly get his name into the debate.

His bogey-free first round was certainly a good start.

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