The leader has a sizable advantage after 36 holes. There is no guarantee that he will hold on to win. Saturday will determine whether this bloke lets a bunch of guys back in or whether he waltzes to a Sunday coronation, a la Tiger Woods at Pebble Beach in 2000.
Let’s suppose, to keep the interest level up, that it is the former. Let’s take a look at the next dozen or so who seek the gilded trophy that Graeme McDowell has guarded for 363 days. Who might have a shot?
*Y.E. Yang…has the track record to hang tough. Was the first guy to beat Tiger, head to head, in the final round of a major championship, Currently alone in 2nd place;
*Zach Johnson, Rober Garrigus, Brandt Snedeker, Sergio Garcia, Matt Kuchar…these gents find themselves one behind Yang, tied for third. One major championship (Johnson-Masters) among them, so rarefied air for all. Snedeker and Garcia have lost close ones at the majors, while Kuchar is predicted to win one some day. Garrigus? Most likely to shoot 65 (because he’s a little crazy and doesn’t care) and get into final pairing on Sunday, making him most likely to blow up from final pairing on Sunday;
*Heath Slocum, Robert Rock, Alvaro Quiros, Davis Love 3, Ryan Palmer, Kyung-tae Kim, Brandt Jobe…Another shot back, tied for 8th. Each of these guys will need to go -6 today to have a shot, unless there is terrible weather and a major regression. Jobe, Quiros and Kim are the most likely to do it. Rock just won in Europe, Love is trying to become a playing Ryder Cup captain. Slocum? Just hanging out. Palmer lost a playoff last month on PGA Tour, if that matters.
Truly, it’s the leader’s event to win. I think that Yang and Kuchar are the most dangerous. If Johnson and Garcia hang around, the longer they stay, the more dangerous they become.