There are 67 players left in the last round of the last tournament of the year on the Web.com Tour. And there is so much riding on the outcome of this Tour Championship. The award of a second 25 PGA Tour cards based on the aggregate performance in The Finals, the final four tournaments of the year, and the priority ranking of all 50 for next year.
As I pointed out after Thursday’s first round, the Tour has done a great job of revealing how each player stood coming into the round and what the day’s round meant for their progress or distress. A red number means that the player is outside the top 50 to get a card and a green number means that he’s inside the top 50.
A scan of the third round leaderboard showed no player who started in the green and ended up in the red. In other words, the guys who were in are managing to stay in.
But there are six guys who bear watching on Sunday; they were out and now they’re in. But can they hold it together and stay there? Here they are by their total score:
- Joe Durant, (T2), 9-under, 67, 12
- Andrew Putnam, (4), 8-under, 70, 15
- Rod Pampling, (T6), 6-under, 64, 22
- Russell Knox, (T6), 6-under, 57, 19
- Ben Kohles, (T10), 5-under, 55, 27
- Lee Williams, (T10), 5-under, 68, 35
So it’s right there at their fingertips. They’re in. For now.
But can they get a good night’s sleep? Can they have a good breakfast? Can they get their putting strokes going on the practice putting green? And can they get their swing in synch on the range?
And if they can do all that, can they hold the visions from the range to get through that first tee shot? That first approach shot to the green? If needed, the chip shot to gimme range? The putt for par you should never, ever, in your entire life, miss?
And how soon can you make that first birdie so that you can go for your second? And in your careful play to hold your position, can you still play freely?
Not enough guys to hold your attention? How about the guys who came into the tournament in the green and are currently sitting in the 40s, oh so close, to being out of it? Are they playing better because they came in in the top 50? Probably. But can they keep it going? Once again, sorted by their total score:
- Daniel Chopra, (T35), 2-under, 40, 41
- Alex Prugh, (T43), 1-under, 41, 42
- Mark Anderson (T43), 1-under, 46, 44
- Jim Renner, (T43), 1-under, 47, 45
- Matt Bettencourt, (T59), 3-over, 49, 48
- Miguel Angel Carbarllo, (67), 7-over, 42, 43
It appears that Bettencourt is at greatest risk. At 48, he’s the closest to falling out of the top 50. But then Carbarllo is at the very bottom of the leaderboard at 7-over. What must be going through his mind?