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Sunday, August 5, 2012

Not a Good Day to Lead

That sounds strange -- why wouldn't it be a good day to lead a tournament? -- but Saturday certainly seems to have been just that.

Let's start at the Bridgestone. Jim Furyk had quite a gap between him and the rest of the field. Saturday he shot an even par 70 and lost ground. Now Louis Oosthuizen is a single shot back.

Or consider the Cox Classic on the Tour. Luke Guthrie had the lead entering Saturday, shot even par 71 and ended up tied for the lead with Russell Henley, who already has a win (you may remember he won as an amateur last year) and calmly shot a 3rd-round 64 to tie him at the top.

How about the 3M Championship on the Champions Tour? It was only an 18-hole lead, of course, since that's only a 54-hole tournament. But there was a 4-way tie there to start the day -- Gil Morgan, Chien Soon Lu, Steve Pate and Peter Senior all held a piece of the lead. Saturday Morgan shot +1 and the other three -1... and none of them are closer than 6 back.

Even Stableford scoring wasn't immune. Alexandre Rocha led after Friday's round at the Reno-Tahoe Open and even posted a respectable 9 points on Saturday. But it wasn't enough to keep him ahead of J.J. Henry, whose 14-point round vaulted him to a 3-point lead.

Granted, a 3-point lead isn't a lot in Stableford. But neither is 1-stroke lead or a tie in stroke play. (We won't even mention the 6-stroke lead. It's still a 36-hole lead, but we've all seen just how little they mean week after week after week this season.) Clearly no 36-hole leader this week is safe after 54 holes.

I'd be willing to give that 6-shotter a try, though. ;-)

At any rate, I've decided the Tours should be required to put a warning on all their tournaments from now on:
The Surgeon General has determined that all leads will expire within 24 hours. Please check expiration date before accepting check.
And then the player should cash it quick!

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