McGladrey Classic 2013: Daily Leaderboard Analysis, Highlights and More
The PGA Tour's season is cruising along, as the McGladrey Classic is already the fifth event of the 2013-14 schedule.
The par-70, 7,055-yard Seaside Golf Club in Sea Island, Georgia is the home of this event, which Davis Love III helps run.
The winner is set to cash in on just less than $1 million out of a purse of $5.5 million. There are also 500 FedEx Cup points available.
Still, that isn't enough to get the majority of golf's stars out on the course. This tournament is not filled with the biggest names, but with golfers like Webb Simpson, Matt Kuchar, Zach Johnson, Harris English and DL3 of course, this event is far from devoid of talent.
Stay up to date on the progress of this tournament as I recap each round as they are completed in the following slides.
*Stats via PGATour.com.
Day 1 Recap
After a lengthy fog delay interrupted Thursday's play at the McGladrey Classic, many players were unable to finish their first round before darkness fell.
That includes current leader George McNeill. The veteran two-time PGA winner was able to finish 16 brilliant holes on Thursday to sit at eight-under par. That is good enough to give him a one-stroke lead over Brian Gay and Briny Baird, who were both able to complete their first round.
McNeill began his day on the back in rather pedestrian fashion. He was just one-under through five holes. However, he caught fire with a birdie on No. 15 and then birdied the following four holes.
He has yet to pick up a bogey, and so far he has as many birdies as pars.
Check out the full leaderboard here or view the top contenders below:
Baird has to be excited right now. A veteran of 365 PGA starts, he is seeing his first PGA action since 2012. He had serious shoulder issues that required surgery on both shoulders according to The Associated Press.
It doesn't take Dr. James Andrews to deduce that those kinds of issues and procedures could wreak havoc on a golf swing. It is a wonderful sign for Baird that he was able to go seven-under in his first PGA start since the procedures. Now, he can shift his focus from getting back to the course to winning his first PGA event.
Meanwhile, Baird, McNeill and everyone else in this field would be wise to keep an eye on Robert Garrigus. The single-time PGA winner also began on the back and fired a bogey-free five-under on the side.
He picked up his sole bogey of the day on No. 1 but birdied the very next hole before finishing his abbreviated day with two pars.
If he can keep his hot hand overnight, he could challenge McNeill for the Round 1 lead.
Day 2 Recap
A day of fog was followed by high-speed gusts of wind, but Chris Kirk was able to tame the difficult conditions again Friday in the second round of the 2013 McGladrey Classic.
With many of his peers scuffling, Kirk took advantage of his stellar irons to tie the day's best score with a four-under 66, putting him at eight-under for the tournament and alone atop the leaderboard. Kirk will almost certainly be playing in the final group on Saturday, though there are still 18 golfers who are yet to complete their second round.
Kirk's eight-under score gives him a one-stroke lead on the foursome of Kevin Chappell, Briny Baird, Webb Simpson and John Senden. Here is a look at the rest of the leaderboard, courtesy of PGATour.com:
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Although Kirk's round finished in triumph, it did not begin that way. He played through the front-nine, with winds and cold weather creating frustrating conditions in Georgia, at just even-par. After a bogey at No. 10, it looked like he would assimilate into the middle of the pack—right where he rested heading into Friday's action.
But starting with hole No. 11, Kirk took off. He reeled off five birdies over the next seven holes, including a beautiful chip-in from 60 feet out. The 28-year-old Tennessee native is looking for his second PGA Tour win, the first being the Viking Classic in 2011.
Still, it looks like Kirk will have plenty of competition against a crowded leaderboard. Simpson followed up his opening-round 65 with a two-under 68 to hang just behind Kirk heading into the weekend. One of the few upper-tier players to enter the event, Simpson is looking for his second win in as many months. His 24-under performance Shriners Hospitals for Children Open tied the best mark all time for four rounds.
The other three golfers at seven-under for the event have one combined PGA Tour victory between them. Among the others lurking in contention, Matt Kuchar at four-under and Tin Clark at six-under are players to watch over the weekend.
Meanwhile, Round 1 leader George McNeil's chance at a Cinderella run is all but finished. He turned in a six-over 76 on Friday, giving him an aggregate score of two-under. He's currently in a tie for 27th place.
Day 3 Recap
Chris Kirk is still sitting atop the leaderboard of the McGladrey Classic, only this time he has some company. After taking the lead into the third round, he's sharing it with Briny Baird after 54 holes.
Kirk started out the round slowly. He got par on his first five holes before bogeying No. 6. He ended up with a one-over 36 on the front nine. Things didn't start well on the back nine, as he bogeyed 12 to go two-over for the day.
Then Kirk went on a tear, birdieing the next three holes and finishing up with a birdie on No. 18 to end with a two-under 68 for Day 3.
Here's a look at the rest of the leaderboard, courtesy of PGATour.com.
Baird is right there with Kirk after his three-under 67. He birdied the final three holes of the round to finish the day very strong. Those last three holes put him in a great position heading into the final round. Baird recovered well on Saturday after shooting an even-par 70 on Saturday that put his chances of winning the tournament in doubt.
No player helped himself more than Kevin Stadler, though. He jumped 14 spots on the day, from 17th all the way up to a tie for third.
Much like many of his competitors, the 33-year-old was fantastic on the back nine after starting the round slowly. After the first nine holes, he had a one-under 34. Then on the final five holes, he Stadler picked up four birdies.
He's gone from being an afterthought to a major threat on Sunday.
With so many golfers stuck within a few shots of one another, the final round should be a lot of fun. It will be interesting to see if Baird or Kirk hold on to the lead, or whether somebody will shoot up the leaderboard.
Day 4 Recap
Chris Kirk put together a stellar final round of four-under 66 at the McGladrey Classic, and shined over the last four holes to capture his second PGA Tour victory on Sunday in Sea Island, Ga.
The 28-year-old Georgia native staved off 54-hole co-leader Briny Baird to win by one stroke at 14 under par, which was just ahead of Baird and Tim Clark, who fired a magnificent round of 62 but came up just short.
Here is a look at the top performers, courtesy of PGA.com:
After a dropped shot at the par-four 14th, Kirk capped his day with four excellent holes to finish, birdieing No. 17 after his tee shot to the par-three wound up 15 feet from the flag, where he converted the clutch putt.
Baird saved bogey on the 18th hole from 25 feet to shoot 67, but his hooked drive off the tee found the bunker, where he sealed his fate thereafter by topping his approach into a hazard.
The silver lining for Baird is that the bittersweet putt kept him in joint second place, netted him an extra $220,000 than he would have had if he missed and got him his full-time tour card, per the AP's Doug Ferguson.
The blunder by Baird made Kirk's walk down the last less stressful. Kirk's second shot from the left rough found the green, where he hit a great first putt to have little more than foot left of work left to clinch the triumph.
It's worth highlighting Clark's round a bit more, since he hit his first 10 greens and his first eight fairways in regulation, per the PGA Tour's official Twitter. Clark ended in style by birdieing his final three holes, too.
Other top performers included American Stars Matt Kuchar and Webb Simpson, who tied for seventh after both shooting rounds of 66 on Sunday at Sea Island Golf Club.