By PGATOUR.COM staff
Don’t sleep on defending champion Luke Donald on Sunday at the Tampa Bay Championship presented by EverBank.
Donald carded a bogey-free 4-under 67 Saturday to reach the clubhouse at 4-under, leaving him tied for eighth, two back of co-leaders Kevin Streelman, Justin Leonard and George Coetzee at Innisbrook.
"It was nice to go around this course not make a mistake, not drop a shot, and you know, I wanted to shoot five or six under, nearly got there, a couple missed putts and didn't birdie any par fives," Donald said. "Could have been a really low round today. But yeah, certainly moving in the right direction, as I said, I feel like my game has been close, and obviously starting to show with some results"
A year ago, Donald entered the final round tied for seventh and, three back of co-leaders Jim Furyk and Retief Goosen. All he did from there was post a Sunday 66 before defeating Furyk, Robert Garrigus and Sang-moon Bae in a playoff.
That finish pushed Donald from 85th to 12th in the FedExCup standings. The Englishman would go on to finish ninth – his third consecutive top-10 – in the final FedExCup standings.
This season, Donald is off to a slow start by his standards, with no top-15 finishes in his first three events. A successful title defense at Innisbrook, however, could move him from 95th into the top 20 once again.
"It's a fine line between success and finishing 30th," Donald said. "I think a lot of my fans and myself, you know, have always expected me to see me in the Top‑10 and up at the top of the leaderboard every week and sometimes golf is just not that easy."
Another solid round Sunday and Donald's fans will get to see him finish inside the top 10 for the first time in 2013.
Kevin Streelman is in position for his best career finish on TOUR. (Stan Badz/PGA TOUR)
By PGATOUR.COM staff
On a tough course, one strong round can make all the difference.
Kevin Streelman found that out on Saturday at the Tampa Bay Championship presented by EverBank.
Streelman, who started the day at even–par, seven shots off the pace, after carding nine birdies and nine bogeys in the first two rounds on Innisbrook’s Copperhead Course, had six birdies against no bogeys on moving day to gain a share of the lead at 6-under. That number was matched by George Coetzee (68) and Justin Leonard (67) by day's end.
"I wanted to get to 6‑under today," he said. "I had that number in my mind to at least have a chance going into tomorrow so I was happy to get there. The wind out here can wreak havoc on us. It's turned quite a bit and glad I'm done. Tomorrow is supposed to be beautiful, as well."
Streelman has three third-place finishes in his PGA TOUR career, most recently at the 2010 Barclays. Despite his lack of work on the top of Sunday leaderboards, Streelman knows what he's in for tomorrow as he chases his first-career victory.
"This is my sixth year out here, so I've been in a lot of hairy situations," he said. "I believe in the work I've done and getting more comfortable each year out here. Done a lot of practicing and hung around the right people. Either way, whatever happens, will happen and I'll do my best"
Streelman’s 65 matched the week’s best round. Shawn Stefani carded the number in Round 1 and Erik Compton matched it Friday.