Sergio “el nino” Garcia is one of the best ball strikers on tour, his golf swing is shown to amateur players all over the world as what you should do (a little exaggeration but still that wrist lag is what every player is trying to do…its text book), he is a Ryder Cup star, and he has won golfs 5th major (The Players Championship). But what doesn’t Sergio have: he has not won since the players in 2008, he has not qualified for the European Ryder Cup team (so far), and he hasn’t won a major championship. Sergio burst onto the scene in the late 90’s running around fairways at Medinah and down right molly whopping the big names during the Ryder Cup. He has gotten close to a major win. With three 2nd place finishes, and 17 top tens in major championships he is one of the best players not to have won a major. However what Sergio does have going for him, or rather what is keeping him from becoming one of the greatest of all time, and winning one of those elusive four trophies…his attitude. Sergio somewhere along the way lost the love he had for the game, and it became a job and not a passion for him. I want to see Sergio succeed. Please understand that I am a huge Sergio fan, and I want him to come out with a W today. I want to see him qualify on his own for the Ryder Cup, and not get picked by his countrymen and good friend Jose Maria Olzabal. It would do wonders for his confidence if he could end this win less streak, and earn a spot onto that Ryder Cup team with no dobut in anyone’s mind if he deserves to be there or not. If Sergio can keep his emotions in check, keep his putter hot, and keep banging out big drives in the fairway, he is going to be tough to beat.
Even though this tournament is Sergio’s right now by one shot, there are quite a few players out there looking to best him on Sunday. Bud Cauley is a PGA Tour rookie (because this is his first full season on tour) and he is red hot right now. Playing great golf with all pistons firing. Bud has the total package and is going to be a house hold name very soon, he is just one round away from his first PGA Tour victory and a heck of a great start into the FedEx Cup playoffs. Not sure if Bud can figure out a way to get to and win the Tour Championship, but what a story that would make. Kid gets his card by winning enough money last year through sponsor exemptions so that he can play full time on the PGA Tour then goes on the next year to win the FedEx Cup and Tour Championship…its a long shot but everyone likes a good story.
Harris English, another PGA Tour rookie and certainly someone who has been close to winning a few times this year on the PGA Tour is only two shots back from Sergio. Harris has not been able to close on a Sunday when he has been close to the lead, but today could be his day. US Open Champion and defending his victory last year at the Wyndham Championship is putting great, and has a really good chance at defending and getting win #4 on the PGA Tour. Even with a third round 71 he is still very much in contention, and we know Webb can go very low on Sunday. But lets not forget about college roommates Carl Pettersson and Tim Clark (both attending NC State just down the way from Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, North Carolina) who are within a few shots each. Carl Pettersson is the hottest players on tour right now, and has been in contention for the PGA Championship last week and lurking around the top of leader boards all year, and is one stellar round from another win in Greensboro. Plus a win for Carl would jump him up into or close to the top 5 in the FedEx Cup. Mr Steady Jason Duffner is #3 on the FedEx Cup points list, and is one of the most consistent players on the PGA Tour today. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Jason get hot with his putter, and ho hum his way to win #3 on the PGA Tour and really put him self into contention for the $10,000,000 and in contention for a player of the year award.
One last note, our USA Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III is only a three shots back from our leader Sergio. Could you imagine that Davis is playing as well as he is, did he get a lesson from Tom Watson on how to compete when you are as old as he is. Could we see a Ryder Cup captain pick himself, which would be the first time since 65 that a captain has done so. I am pretty sure we will not see DL3 pick himself in a few weeks. But one has to wonder if DL3 wasn’t the Ryder Cup captain would someone else pick him because of his great play right now? He is a very experienced Ryder Cupper and would be a great mentor for the new players on the team. Plus he can still win points from those tight pants wearing Euros (sorry that just came out). I would almost guarantee that he would get picked if he manged a win today at the Wyndham if he was not the current captain.
Lots of really great story lines hanging around golf’s last regular season event, just imagine if the end of the year is this much fun how great is the next few weeks going to be. Road to the Tour Championship starts today for a lot of these players, and I am going to be watching every moment.