PGA Championship 2012 Leaderboard: Who Will Be Final Round's Biggest Movers?

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PGA Championship 2012 Leaderboard: Who Will Be Final Round's Biggest Movers?
Andrew Redington/Getty Images

With the leaderboard of the 2012 PGA Championship fairly wide open, save for the slim lead that Rory McIlroy has, it is expected that there will be a lot of shuffling at the top today.

All the leaders have been able to put themselves into contention after three rounds, but it is the one that is able to carry on that type of play through the fourth who will become the victor. McIlroy holds a three shot lead over his opponents, but unless he keeps playing strong golf, that could disappear quite quickly.

It seems like the conditions are right for the players to post some low scores in the final round of the PGA Championship. Some of the golfers who teed off early already have scores under par through the first few holes (Ian Poulter is one of them), and have been able to move themselves quickly up the leaderboard.

It will be interesting to see whether or not the leaders after the third round are able to continue their strong play. If they do not, their names could drop quickly into a less favorable position.

Below are three big name players sitting at the top of the leaderboard who will be the biggest movers on the day.

 

Tiger Woods

After a third round 74 Tiger Woods put himself in a position that would require a low score to be posted on Sunday, should he expect to win.

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Even though Woods' track record this year for playing well on the weekend is not great, this tournament will turn out to be different. Think back to his weekend performance when he was able to win The Memorial. At that tournament he posted his worst score in the third round, but then was able to follow it up with his best round of the whole week. The 2012 PGA Championship will play out like that for Woods.

If Woods can forget about his third round and come out Sunday afternoon playing as well as he was during the week, then there is no reason why he can not make a move up the leaderboard. Throw in a little luck and he could find himself at the top by the end of Sunday.

It seems like, according to Jonathan Wall of Yahoo! Sports, Tiger feels confident going in the final round.

"I'm right there," said Woods. "I was at one point six back, and we had a lot of holes to play, so I was very encouraged the way I dug down deep and got this thing turned around and gave myself a chance going into this afternoon."

Tiger Woods will be one of the biggest movers on Sunday during the final round and, by the end of the day, could find himself close to the top of the leaderboard.

 

Vijay Singh

Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

So far through three rounds of the tournament Vijay Singh has been able to play some consistent golf.

Rounds of 71, 69 and 74 have placed him near the top with an overall score of -2. Even though it would be great for Singh to be able to put together a nice score for the final round of this tournament, it is hard to expect that type of performance out of him.

Sure, he has already thrown up a 69 this week, and if he is able to manage another round with a similar outcome he may just find himself in contention, but is that really going to happen?

Realistically, he is now 49 years old and past his prime.

This course has played tough on certain days for the golfers and that takes a lot out of them. Singh is no exception. This final round will be rough, and it seems like he will be one of the biggest movers but in the opposite direction. Although you should never count out a golfer who was able to put up a 69 in the worst of conditions this week, his luck may slowly be running dry.

Hanging in there with a round under par would be the best way for Singh to see his tournament come to a close, but even that may be too tough of a task.

 

Rory McIlroy

This year Rory McIlroy has yet to find the right groove when it comes to Major championships.

This week, however, he has been able to put himself in a dangerous spot over the rest of the field after posting scores of 67, 75, 67 to give himself a three shot lead and sit at -7. He has been able to put up some very good rounds, with the only questionable one coming Friday, where the terrible wind and hard conditions played a factor.

McIlroy expressed, through Twitter, how tough it was playing on Friday:

McIlroy has been playing very good golf this week, and if he can continue that on Sunday, there is no reason why he can not keep bring home the Major. It will be a boost to his game if he is able to hang on and get it done.

His season has not been the greatest by any means, and his own performances at Major championships are even worse. McIlroy has this one wrapped up if he can hold on to it.

Maybe his position will not move during the round, but his score definitely will.

Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

In the end it will be interesting to see which of the players can keep their nerves and continue to post low scores.

Again, it seems like Rory is in the running right now to claim victory if he can just manage to play decent golf like he has been all week. As for Tiger, he could present a threat. If he can manage to bring back his game from earlier in the week, then he also has the chance to post a low score today. It would be amazing to see Vijay fight to the end and be able to put up a great score, but it seems like he will run out of gas in the homestretch.

No matter what happens, it will be a great run right up to the eighteenth hole, and a great day for fans to enjoy some golf.

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