The American reign on the top of the leaderboard at the PGA Championship is going to be short lived. Like yesterday, the top of the leaderboard will likely be unrecognizable at the beginning of the last round of play.
As you can see in the table below, the leaderboard is littered with average American talent. Only John Senden hails from overseas from this group.
|T1. Jason Dufner ||-5 |
|T1. Keegan Bradley ||-5|
|T3. Jim Furyk ||-4 |
|T3. John Senden ||-4 |
|T3. D.A. Points ||-4 |
|T3. Scott Verplank ||-4 |
Yesterday, we saw Steve Strickler start the day off with a commanding lead at seven-under. As we saw from Strickler, one bad day can send anyone shooting down the leaderboard. He's still at three-under and well within reach, but a four-over speaks to the importance of consistency at this tournament.
The layout of the course will likely render at least one bad day from almost all of the golfers. The winner will be the guy who can keep his bad day to a minimum. For guys like Jason Dufner and Keegan Bradley, that probably won't hold true. It's hard to imagine them keeping up this level of play for four rounds.
There are elite players lurking in the shadows, waiting patiently as the guys who got off to a quick start are exposed over the course of the tournament.
There are so many Americans in the Top Five that an entirely new batch of middle-of-the-road Americans could be featured atop the leaderboard at the end of the day.
While he is behind, Adam Scott sitting at two-under could be considered the favorite at this point to win the whole thing. If he can make up some ground and pick up a couple of strokes here and there, finishing with a six-under score just might be good enough to come away with a victory.
Another guy to watch is Lee Westwood, who is at one-under at the moment. Westwood is one of the best players in the world to never win a Major. He's overdue, and while he's four strokes back, he's consistent enough to routinely build on his score. If he is able to enter tomorrow down two or even three strokes, watch out.
By playing four rounds, those unworthy of sitting atop the leaderboard have a tendency to work their way out of contention. That's exactly what we should expect to see from the group that is currently holding down the Top Five, as better players are sure to overtake them within the next day or so.