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Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Other Guys at the Honda Classic

OK. We all know Rory's got a 2-shot lead (-12) heading into the final round and we also know Tiger shot his best round of the year on Saturday (though he's unlikely to win). But what about the other guys -- you know, the players who might actually win instead of Rory?

First up: Russell Henley.

Russell Henley

Henley's the "2 back" guy (at -10) and he's playing pretty well. After a lackluster +1 on the front 9 Saturday he went -3 on the back -- including an eagle on the 14th. You have to give him some respect in this position -- remember, he won his rookie start at the 2013 Sony Open and I believe he did it by posting 5 straight birdies to finish the final round with a 63.

Then there's Russell Knox (-9). Russell's from Scotland and would seem to be a good choice if the wind gets up today. However, he hasn't been playing particularly well so far -- only 1 Top10 in the wraparound season -- so he's definitely a wildcard today.

Jhonattan Vegas (-8) hasn't played particularly well the last couple of years but has been fighting injury. After rounds of 70-66-66 this week, he may have finally found his form again.

Assuming Rory can do anything today, it's hard to believe that anybody farther back than the -7 pack has a chance. That pack is made up of Stuart Appleby, Keegan Bradley, Luke Donald, and Ryan Palmer. Appleby and Bradley made the biggest jumps up the leaderboard on Saturday but haven't been particularly consistent lately.

Quite frankly, I don't see anybody catching Rory today. Rory and Knox both have 63s this week and Henley has a 64, so anything's possible, but I expect Rory to put up at least a -3 round today. He's just looking too comfortable with his game right now.

And if Rory does win, the Masters gossip will kick into high gear.

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