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Sunday, April 1, 2018

Today's Two Biggest Storylines

After several weeks of older players breaking winning droughts, we have a couple of interesting storylines to watch today.

Ian Poulter and Pernilla Lindberg

Pernilla Lindberg turned pro in 2009 and has never won a professional event, although she was quite the amateur player. She won the 2008 Amateur World Championship, was the 2007 NCAA West Regional champion and was a First-Team All-American in 2007 and 2009, in addition to her wins at Oklahoma State University.

But even though she hasn't won a pro event, you wouldn't know it to watch her play this week at the ANA. Like Dannielle Kang last year, she could make her first pro win a major. She's got a three-stroke lead going into today's final round and, while there are some proven major winners like Inbee Park, Ariya Jutanugarn and Sung Hyun Park just four strokes back, Pernilla's game seems pretty solid and she still seems pretty relaxed despite sleeping on the lead for days now.

Ian Poulter, on the other hand, has won 16 times as a pro... but not since late 2012 at the WGC-HSBC Champions, which I usually just call the WGC-China. Ian shot 73 in his first round, so far back that he'd already packed his bags. But after two bogey-free rounds of 64 and 65, he's tied with Beau Hossler at -14, two strokes ahead of the field at the Houston Open.

And Ian has something to play for as well. He needs a win to play at Augusta next week.

Pernilla at 31, Ian at 42. Both considered "veterans" on their respective tours, both in need of a win for different reasons. Both playing some of the best golf they've played in a long, long time.

And I refuse to bet against them today. This year has already been so weird, I see no reason why either should fail to get it done. I'll sure be pulling for them!

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