Wyndham Championship 2013: Power Ranking Top Contenders Entering Final Round
Reigning PGA Tour Rookie of the Year John Huh and Patrick Reed share the lead after three rounds at the Wyndham Championship with an aggregate score of 10-under par.
Only one shot behind are 20-year-old prodigy Jordan Spieth, a recently hot Zach Johnson and the resurgent Bob Estes. There are several other players within striking distance, but the winner on Sunday at Sedgefield Country Club is likely to come from the aforementioned quintet.
Reed is a newcomer on tour in search of his first victory and has been in contention multiple times in his maiden season on pro golf's top circuit.
The others have established themselves as champions, which will make things difficult for the next wave of players to catch up.
Below is a power ranking of the top contenders in Greensboro, with a brief breakdown of their pedigrees and analysis on their prospects of winning the Wyndham.
Note: Statistics and information are courtesy of PGATour.com.
4. Patrick Reed (-10)
With two Top 10s in his past two starts at the John Deere Classic and the RBC Canadian Open, it seems like Reed is knocking on the door for his maiden tour win.
Who will win the Wyndham Championship?
Reed ranks fifth in that statistic this week but leads the field with a whopping 85.19 greens in regulation percentage.
The good news too is that Reed scores best on the final day of tournaments, ranking 26th with a 70.18 stroke average this season. Tougher conditions caused his score to slip on Day 3, but he still managed to hang in there while being chased by several world-class players.
As long as Reed continues to roll the rock as he has been for much of his debut season, he should be in the hunt coming down the stretch. It's also encouraging that Reed birdied three straight holes on the back nine in Round 3.
3. John Huh (-10)
Inconsistency has plagued Huh, as he's struggled to manage his game since breaking out with a win at the Mayakoba Classic in just his fifth career start last year.
Between the plethora of positive results, there have been a slew of missed cuts since Huh joined the tour.
Entering this tournament, the 23-year-old American had failed to reach the weekend in each of his previous four outings. Here he is again, though, vying for another trip to the winner's circle to back up his first trophy.
Huh has shown an ability to bounce-back at times. At the 2012 Valero Texas Open, he opened with a round of 77 but battled his way into a tie for second by week's end.
On Saturday, he took a brutal triple bogey on the second hole that threatened to drop him into another disappointing result. Instead of throwing in the towel, Huh dug deep and scratched out pars before birdieing Nos. 13, 15 and 16 to salvage level par for the round.
That type of resolve suggests that Huh shouldn't be dismissed as a flash in the pan and means that he could very well close the deal in Greensboro.
2. Zach Johnson (-9)
The 2007 Masters champion vaulted himself into contention on moving day, matching the low round with a four-under 66, with the only blemish on the scorecard coming with a bogey at the 18th hole.
Before defending his title valiantly at the John Deere Classic—and ultimately falling to Spieth in extra holes—Johnson had endured a mostly rough season.
Amanda Balionis of PGATour.com logged a humorous quote by Johnson, who isn't necessarily a fan of the young guns developing so rapidly and winning:
"It really stinks. They're really good..they're hungry." - Zach Johnson on young guys coming out early and successful on @PGATOUR— Amanda Balionis (@Amanda_Balionis) August 17, 2013
Whatever light came on has remained illuminated ever since because there are few players on the planet, if any, who have been as consistent.
Johnson held the lead after the first round in the Open Championship and wound up finishing in a tie for sixth. He followed that up by placing joint fourth at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and T-8 at the PGA Championship.
All that's missing from those strong performances is a victory. As talent-laden as the closest competitors are, none of the 20 players within six or fewer shots of the lead boast a major title or the resume Johnson does.
1. Jordan Spieth (-9)
The John Deere Classic winner is in line for his second triumph in as many months, which would further cement him as the next big thing in American golf.
Spieth entered the Wyndham Championship 11th in the FedEx Cup point standings and has matched Reed with 16 birdies to lead the field through 54 holes.
ESPN's Justin Ray pointed out how Spieth would become the youngest two-time winner in PGA Tour history if he rises to the top on Sunday:
The third round is undoubtedly where Spieth struggles the most, as his stroke average balloons more than a shot higher than the numbers he regularly posts before the cut and in final rounds.
In ranking 31st on tour with a 70.31 average when closing out tournaments, Spieth is showing all the signs of a true champion at this infantry stage of his career. In his playoff win last month, he flashed a flair for the dramatic too:
Considering how well Spieth stood up to Johnson and David Hearn in the playoff at the John Deere, he should be able to handle the pressure well this time around too.
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