Honda Classic 2013: Top Storylines Going into Final Round

Mike Moraitis@@michaelmoraitisAnalyst IMarch 3, 2013

PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL - MARCH 02:  Michael Thompson lines up a putt during the third round of the Honda Classic at PGA National Resort and Spa on March 2, 2013 in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Going into the final day of the 2013 Honda Classic, some interesting storylines are set to unfold as golfers take to the PGA National Champion Course in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

Michael Thompson and Luke Guthrie have a share of the lead at eight-under, while other notables such as Y.E. Yang, Rickie Fowler and Geoff Ogilvy are all within striking distance.

Tiger Woods has had a lackluster tourney so far and remains eight shots back as a result.

With so many golfers in range to win this tourney, nothing is close to guaranteed, and that should make for an exciting Sunday of golf.

Let's take a look at the best storylines going into Round 4.


Another Comeback for Tiger?

Tiger Woods is eight shots back of the lead going into Sunday at the Honda Classic after shooting three straight rounds of even par. Sound familiar?

It should because Woods was nine shots back last year, but he was able to muster up an eight-under final round to challenge the eventual winner, Rory McIlroy. Sadly for Tiger, he fell just short of catching the leader and finished as the runner-up.

But this year's field doesn't have a player the caliber of McIlroy at the top of the leaderboard, so it may not take another eight-under day to complete a comeback. Still, Tiger certainly has his work cut out for him, and he will have to post his best round by far to have a shot.

Woods must post a day of at least six-under to stand a chance.


Potential First-Time Winners

Not only are Michael Thompson and Luke Guthrie winless in their careers at the Honda Classic, but they have never won a single tournament on the PGA Tour, so that makes their current lead a bit surprising.

Taking home the victory won't be easy as not only do they have to fight off each other, but they also have to outlast Lee Westwood, Geoff Ogilvy, Rickie Fowler, Charles Howell III, Y.E. Yang, Peter Hanson, Keegan Bradley and Justin Rose.

Those golfers are all within four shots and have a huge experience advantage with 21 PGA Tour victories between them. More specifically, Yang has already won the Honda Classic back in 2009 and is coming on strong after shooting a three-under 67 on Saturday.

The pressure will be squarely on the shoulders of these golfers as they look to finish what they started on Thursday—and it's the kind of pressure that neither has likely faced before.

While there's no telling how they'll respond, it must be said that Thompson (70) and Guthrie (71) each shot their worst round of the tourney on Day 3. This is not a good time to falter, and these leaders must perform better on Sunday to wrap this tourney up.


Y.E. Yang Looking to Make History

Yang is no stranger to success at this tournament as he won the Honda Classic back in 2009, when he finished nine-under par overall to emerge victorious by a single stroke.

Yang isn't in as advantageous a position as he was in his victory at this event, but he is only four shots back and well within striking distance to steal a win. Day 3 was a solid showing for Yang, who shot a three-under 67, which matched his Day 1 total.

The only problem for Yang this year was the fact that he had a bad Day 2 after shooting two-over 72, which made things much more difficult for the former champion.

But Yang has already shown he's capable of shooting a three-under like he did on Day 1 and Day 3, and a score like that will give Yang a great chance to win his second Honda Classic. With the two inexperienced leaders at the top of the leaderboard, Yang should be able to at least make it close.

Only three men have won this tourney multiple times in its history: Jack Nicklaus (1977 and 1978), Johnny Miller (1980 and 1983) and Mark Calcavecchia (1987 and 1998). That would be a pretty impressive group for Yeng to join.