Valero Texas Open 2013: Handicapping the Contenders' Chances of Winning

Ryan DavenportContributor IApril 6, 2013

SAN ANTONIO, TX - APRIL 06: Rory McIlroy of Ireland hits his tee shot on the 6th hole during the third round of the Valero Texas Open at the AT&T Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio on April 6, 2013 in San Antonio, Texas. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
Steve Dykes/Getty Images

Three rounds in, and the field is wide open at the 2013 Valero Texas Open. 

Sure, Billy Horschel has a two-shot lead over the field in San Antonio, but the competition isn't far behind after the leader fell to a minus-10 following his 70-stroke performance in Round 3. 

After his lackluster outing on Saturday and for the first time since the weekend began, Horschel is legitimately in danger of losing the tournament lead, and this is the same golfer who shot an 85 during the fourth round at the Arnold Palmer Invitational last month. 

Heading into the fourth round of play, here's a look at how the top contenders will fair during the final day. 



Padraig Harrington 


After posting a disappointing 73 in Round 2, Harrington rebounded and shot a 70 on Saturday, and though the Irishman has work to do over the weekend, he's certainly within range. 

The three-time major winner has been trending downward since a sparkling opening-round performance of 67, but with his talent and experience, one cannot assume he won't bounce back soon. 

Sitting seventh heading into the final round, Harrington has a reasonable shot of taking home the trophy, as long as he doesn't play like he did in Rounds 2 and 3. 



Jim Furyk 


Not surprisingly, the 2003 U.S. Open champion Jim Furyk is in the mix in Texas, as the 42-year-old has been a model of consistency thus far, posting virtually identical performances during all three rounds. 

While Furyk has yet to notch an outstanding single-round score, he's played well enough to stay in the race, which is nothing to be ashamed of three days in.

With a third-round score of 69 (following rounds of 69 and 70, respectively), Furyk's breathing down Harrington's neck, but despite his performance, it sounds like he could be betting on another big name.


Rory McIlroy 


As Furyk said, the man simply known as "Rory" is back in the race for the title in San Antonio after recording a solid 67 on Friday. 

Despite shooting a 70 on Saturday, McIlroy is only four shots back of the leader, and given his overall skill and consistency, one would be foolish to count the former U.S. Open and PGA Championship winner out. 

That being said, he'll need a much better final round, and much more poise during the middle of the 18 holes to be a serious contender.