By Will Martin
We’ve heard so much talk about ‘That Texas Wind’ the last couple of days. An intangible geared to throw players games off in the 2014 Byron Nelson Classic here at the Four Seasons Hotel, Resort, and golf course.
Indeed there are many sub-plots and storylines to keep an eye on as we have now completed 54 holes of day with one more round to go. With Peggy Nelson in the audience one golfer shall pocket over a million dollars and one big sized trophy for their efforts on a course that is looking to be in excellent condition.
Let’s start with the news of the day. Not even 24 hours after making the cut ‘The Next Jordan Spieth’ struck again on the second hole of the third day!
Scott Scheffler-as predicted- would have himself a huge assemblage of fans for his third round of play. He did not disappoint on his approach of the Par 3 second hole. Using a 5 iron the tee shot was on a straight line that went 218 yards into the hole as the crowd roared its approval.
That was only the 6th ace on the tour this season. It was also the 1st hole-in-one at the Byron since J.J. Henry turned the trick in 2012 at Hole #5. In case you wonder when the last ace happened on Hole #2 go back to 2010 when Ken Duke was the person to do so.
After three rounds Scheffler sits in a tie for 38th at 2 under. He had a few insights to share after the round including how he had made four holes-in-one prior. Here’s the Scot Man Mr. Scheffler!
High atop the leaderboard you have a five man race with one shot between them. Tied for first are Louis Oosthuizen and Brendon Todd at -10 followed immediately by Gary Woodland, Mike Weir, and James Hahn all at -9. The Cut after 36 holes was set at 1 over par (141) for 83 pro golfers and 1 amateur out of 155 players.
The Cut after 54 holes was 73 pros and 1 amateur at 2 over (212).
Oosthuizen makes his third start at the Byron Nelson tourney. In three previous scenarios when leading after 54 holes Louis won the 2010 Open Championship. He also finished second at the Deutsche Bank Championship in 2012 and third at the Shell Houston Open also in 2012. Speaking of which I caught up with Louis Oosthuizen post match as he addressed what made him happy and what concerned him.
This weekend is a first for Brandon Todd in that he had never lead on tour prior to being in first place after 36 or having a share of the lead after 54 holes. New territory for the Todd man. A win for Brendon Todd adds to the Georgia mystique that has made winners of Bubba Watson, Russell Henley, Chris Kirk, Harris English, Matt Kuchar, Chesson Hadley, and Patrick Reed.
We now check in Mike Weir who had a tremendous third round to be in a third place tie.
Mike Weir is in search of his 1st Top 10 finish since placing sixth at the Humana Challenge. If Weir can successfully place in the Top Ten this weekend it will make for his best finish in his 12th Byron Nelson visit. The previous eleven visits Weirs best effort was finishing tied for 11 way back in 2001.
Only twice in the last six years has a third round leader gone on to win the Byron Nelson Championship. Adam Scott in 2008 and Jason Dufner in 2012. In the event fans ponder what the biggest shot deficit is that has been overcome on the final day of the Byron Nelson it’s four. Done four times by Keegan Bradley (2011), John Cook (1998), Bob Eastwood (1985) and Lanny Wadkins (1973).
Brendon Todd had himself 12 straight par holes sandwiched in between two birdie rounds to remain tied on top. Here were his thoughts about his third round day and what to expect for tomorrow. A day that promises to be very windy and dicey on the back nine.
On a local note Jordan Spieth was a little off with the short game to finish at even par after shooting a 73 Saturday. He tees off at 8:33 am Sunday with Mansfield upstart Martin Flores. Scott Scheffler will tee off with Ricky Barnes at 9:54 am. 12 noon for Matt Kuchar, 12:10 for 2012 Colonial winner Boo Weekley, 12:40 for Mike Weir, and 1:00 for both Louis Oosthuizen and Brendon Todd.
As competitive as the field has been, I expect to see some playoff fun among three golfers. I won’t rule out Graham DaLaet or even Keegan Bradley to somehow crash the party. Another week of the Byron Nelson slowly winds its way down. The videos will be fewer for tomorrow as my camera gets a much needed workout instead.
Happy watching and be sure to exercise caution here if you choose to hunt for the Pavilion and start to libate. Trust me on that one. Another long held tradition of the Byron Nelson Classic. Only at The Four Seasons Hotel and Resort. Where the golf is always exciting and hot!