2012 Wells Fargo Championship: Exciting Sunday Ahead

Kevin CaseyContributor IMay 5, 2012

CHARLOTTE, NC - MAY 05:  Webb Simpson of the United States looks on from the 13th hole during the third round of the Wells Fargo Championship at the Quail Hollow Club on May 5, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

With a third consecutive round in the 60s, Webb Simpson surged to the top of the leader board at the Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte, N.C. on Saturday.

The man who is a member of Quail Hollow and lives less than a mile from the course sure feels comfortable on a place so close to home.

Rounds of 65, 68 and 69 have Simpson at 14 under par, one shot ahead of the field and in the form he found in 2011, a year that saw him win two PGA Tour events and finish second in three others.

Yet the 26-year-old shouldn't get too complacent. Simpson's final-round scoring average this season has been a mediocre 72.33 (good enough for just 125th on tour), and a horde of players are sitting close to his lead.

Ryan Moore and D.A. Points, both previous PGA Tour winners, are at 13 under and just one back of Simpson heading into Sunday. Moore kept the bogeys off the card Saturday on his way to a third-round 68 and Points, who also played bogey-free golf, cruised to a 69 (which could've been a lot better if his putter had cooperated).

A pair at 12 under may be the most worrisome though.

Rory McIlroy disappointed on Day 1 with a 70 but has come back since with a solid 68 on Friday and a 66 on Saturday that started with four birdies in the first five holes and included eight for the day. He has already shown this season that he is one of golf's premier players, and after a poor performance at the Masters, he looks to erase the memory of that tournament with a win Sunday.

Nick Watney hasn't realized nearly the same success as McIlroy in 2012 and could only muster an even-par 72 in the third round on a day where birdies were plenty. Still, if his two wins last season are any indication, Watney can close when he finds himself in position on a Sunday.

Another intriguing player lurking three off the pace is Rickie Fowler. The 23-year-old has been heavily criticized for not winning on the PGA Tour, but after a third-round 67, he has put himself in a decent position to pick up his first win Sunday.

Fowler does have some ground to make up and has never previously shown ability to handle Sunday pressure, but on a course that has been susceptible to low numbers, the streaky young gun could make some noise down the stretch.

With all of these names so close to the lead, there are some intriguing questions for the final round. Can Simpson hold on for victory No. 3? Will another young star take the title? Is it possible that the 35-year-old D.A. Points could somehow come home with the trophy?

Whatever happens, the fans should be in for a treat. The Wells Fargo Championship may be in the shadow of that very important tournament at Sawgrass next week, but it has always produced a great deal of excitement.

Looking at the leaderboard with one round to go, the tournament should see another great finish in 2012.