PGA Tour: Wyndham Championship Pits Youth Versus Experience

Fred Altvater@@tolohgolfrContributor IIAugust 18, 2013

Zach Johnson is near the lead at the Wyndham Championship
Zach Johnson is near the lead at the Wyndham ChampionshipStreeter Lecka/Getty Images

John Huh turned in an even-par 70 on Saturday to tie Patrick Reed at 10 under par for the lead at the Wyndham Championship, the last 2013 PGA Tour regular-season tournament prior to the start of the FedEx Cup Playoffs next week.

While the young guys, Patrick Reed, John Huh and Jordan Spieth, treaded water on Saturday, veterans Zach Johnson and Bob Estes turned in sub-par rounds and put themselves in the mix for the final round on Sunday.

Reed is just 23 years old and two years removed from a very solid collegiate career at Augusta State. He played the PGA Tour with no status last year via sponsor’s exemptions and Monday qualifying. He earned full-time playing privileges for this season at the PGA Tour Q-School.

He is ranked No. 78 on the FedEx Cup standings with four top-10 finishes and $978,000 in total earnings. He has qualified for the FedEx Cup Playoffs and has guaranteed his card for next season, which is the first goal for any PGA Tour rookie.

He can now get about the business of trying to win a PGA Tour event. Reed had a one-shot lead after 36 holes. His third-round scoring average has not been stellar this year. His one-over-par 71 in the third round proved once more that he moves the wrong way on moving day.

Huh is just 23 years old and has one PGA Tour win at the 2012 Mayakoba Open. He has one top-10 finish in 2013 and could only managed an even-par 70 on Saturday.

Jordan Spieth, the first teenager to win on tour in over 80 years, posted an even-par 70 but is only one stroke behind Reed and Huh heading into the last round.

Spieth is 19 years old and just turned professional last fall. He began the 2013 season with no status on any tour. He earned enough with a runner-up finish in Puerto Rico to gain a temporary tour card, and his win at the John Deere Classic brought him full status and a two-year exemption on the PGA Tour.

Zach Johnson has nine career PGA Tour wins, including a green jacket in his closet. He has a runner-up, a third and three other top-10 finishes in 2013, but no wins.

He is playing very well right now. In his last four events he finished second at the John Deere, tied for sixth at the Open Championship, tied for fourth at the WGC-Bridgestone and tied for eighth in the PGA Championship.

Bob Estes is 47 years old and is nearing the end of his PGA Tour career. He turned professional in 1988, two years before Reed and Huh were even born. He is having a solid year in 2013 and has qualified for the FedEx Cup Playoffs.

Estes has four career PGA Tour wins, but has not won since 2002. He has bounced up and down between the and PGA Tour for the last few years. Over his last seven starts, his best finish was tied for 30th back in April at the RBC Heritage Classic.

A win at the Wyndham would be a gigantic boost for him. It would give him a two-year exemption on tour and ease his transition to the Champions Tour.

Estes has been very consistent over the first three rounds of the Wyndham Championship, posting 67-66-68. Another solid round of 66 may just get him another PGA Tour title.

Long-hitting tour veteran Robert Garrigues is in a group with Matt Every and Brian Harman, two shots behind the leaders at eight under par.

The story to watch unfold on Sunday at the Wyndham is experience versus youth. Tour veteran 49-year-old Woody Austin won the Sanderson Farms Championship two weeks ago.

Can Bob Estes do his best Woody Austin impression and get the win on Sunday?

Will Zach Johnson continue his strong play and get his first win of 2013?

Or will one of the young guysReed, Huh or Spiethhold the trophy on Sunday evening in Greensboro, N.C.?