Bill Lunde entered this week with a two-shot advantage over Cameron Tringale in the season-long Kodak Challenge competition. The lead is now three.
Lunde, who is grouped with Tringale for the first two rounds at TPC Summerlin, applied even more pressure to his closest pursuer Friday by making a 14-foot eagle putt on the par-5 16th -- this week’s Kodak Challenge hole.
Lunde and Tringale each birdied the hole in Round 1 when Lunde’s 51-foot eagle putt grazed the left edge of the cup before settling inches away for a tap-in birdie. Tringale, who ran his 37-foot eagle putt by the cup before settling for birdie on Thursday, found the left fairway bunker on Friday and only managed a par.
With just three holes remaining on the schedule, Lunde is certainly in the driver’s seat to win the $1 million Kodak bonus previously earned by Kevin Streelman and Troy Merritt. Tringale, currently tied for 9th at 6 under looks like he’ll have two more chances to eagle the 16th and cut his deficit back to two with the same number of holes (all of which are par 4s) left on the schedule.
Here's a look at the three remaining holes on the Kodak Challenge schedule:
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa. -- The low numbers continue to pour in at Aronimink, where Kevin Stadler and Cameron Tringale each shot up the leaderboard after course record-tying 64s.
Defending champ Justin Rose was right behind them with a 65. Ditto Scott McCarron.
“You combine calm conditions and pure putting surfaces, you’re going to get low scores,” Rose said. “I would have liked to have seen it get it more baked out today and be a little bit more of a test.”
Of course when you hit 17 of 18 greens the way Stadler did, it makes things a little easier.
“The course was a lot softer today,” Stadler said. “The greens were more receptive and there were a lot more accessible pins today.”
One of those pins, for example, is on No. 11, where Rose nearly made an eagle-2.
“They made a concerted effort to soften [the greens] up, whether that was for the health of them so they don’t get too far or because they wanted to see low scores,” Rose continued. “But with the pin placements, there’s an opportunity for a low one.”
Or several low ones it appears.
NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa. -- For two days, Aronimink looked like a major championship venue. Here in the third round it’s resembling something else with several players going low.
Chris Kirk is 6 under through 11 holes, Kevin Stadler is 6 under through 17 holes, Cameron Tringale is already in with a course record-tying 64. Scott McCarron carded a 65.
You get the idea.
How low will they go? We’ll continue to find out over the next few hours but with 23 players within four shots of the lead there could be some shake-ups on the leaderboard before the day is over
John Merrick, Cameron Tringale and Retief Goosen are among those making a move on moving day in Memphis, where they’re 3 under, 3 under and 4 under, respectively.
The bad news for them is that Robert Karlsson is also playing well, at 2 under through his first two holes and leading by three over Merrick. Tringale and Goosen, meanwhile, are seven shots back and among a cluster of players tied for fifth.
On the PGA TOUR in 2011, the second-round leader has gone on to win just five times in 23 stroke-play events on the season. Of course the last of those was just last week with Steve Stricker winning at Muirfield Village. And since the tournament moved to TPC Southwind in 1989, the second-round leader of the FedEx St. Jude Classic has gone on to win eight times, including in each of the last two years.
Overnight leader Brendan Steele was caught when he bogeyed the par-4 fifth hole, but he still has a share of the lead at 7 under after a clutch par save from just over six feet one hole later.
Bradnt Snedeker and Cameron Tringale, however, are both under par here in the final round and share the top spot for now.
In fact, of the players in the top 10 on the leaderboard, all but two -- Steele and Adam Scott, who is 1 over -- are under par in the final round.
Of that group, Keegan Bradley has the best score going at 4 under through 13, but he’s obviously running out of holes and probably won’t make up the four strokes he trails by. Click here for live scores
Can anyone catch Brendan Steele? He still leads by one but has plenty of company. Here’s a closer look at some of his contenders:
As a rookie in 2010, Tringale only made five of 22 cuts on TOUR. So far this season, he has made eight of 11 cuts.
Tringale was tied for the first-round lead at the 2010 Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open -- his only lead on TOUR after any round.
Tringale made the clinching putt to help the U.S. win the 2009 Walker Cup.
Chappell is playing in his 16 th event on TOUR, making the cut in seven of those starts.
Chappell won the 2008 NCAA Championship, leading his UCLA Bruins to the team title along the way. Chappell was the only player in the field to shoot under-par (2 under).
Coming into this week, Snedeker had only made four of nine cuts, but he has finished inside the top 25 each of the four and in the top 10 three times.
This is also Snedeker’s first career start at the Valero Texas Open.
The top three names on the leaderboard entering today’s final round have all of 62 combined starts on the PGA TOUR.
Charles Howell III and Pat Perez, both of whom are tied for fifth, have 83 combined top-10s.
In other words, it’s youth vs. experience at TPC San Antonio, where Brendan Steele leads at 7 under and Cameron Tringale and Kevin Chappell are one and two shots back, respectively.
The good news for that trio is that players in their 20s have won three of the last four events and four of the last six. The last player in his 30s to win? Rory Sabbatini at The Honda Classic.
Tringale (23) and Chappell (24) would be the youngest players to win on TOUR since Jason Day (22) won the HP Byron Nelson Championship last May.
And if rookies Chappell or Steele go on to victory it would mark the first time rookies have won back-to-back events on TOUR since 2002 when Jonathan Byrd won the Buick Challenge and Luke Donald won the Southern Farm Bureau Classic.
Brandt Snedeker, Pat Perez, Charles Howell III, Adam Scott, Charley Hoffman and Rich Beem have all won on the PGA TOUR. Brendan Steele, Cameron Tringale and Kevin Chappell haven’t.
That’s the separation at the top of the leaderboard at TPC San Antonio, where Steele is in front by one at 7 under after a 68 Saturday.
The biggest difference between the second and third rounds was the wind. Friday it blew, Saturday, for the most part, it didn’t. That allowed for some good scoring, though it’s still somewhat crowded with eight players within four shots of Steele’s lead.
That of course includes the defending champion Scott, who is on a run of three straight finishes in the top 6, which includes of course his tie for second at the Masters last week.
So what will happen on Sunday?
The wind is expected to blow in the 25-mph range. That could mean more high scores -- and an advantage to Scott, an Aussie who of course is used to playing in the wind. Stay tuned.
In what’s been a logjam of a leaderboard for two-plus rounds, Cameron Tringale has finally created a little separation.
That’s what happens when you eagle the par-5 14th like Tringale just did, reaching the green in two and rolling in a 7 1/2 footer to get to 5 under on the day and 7 under for the week.
Tringale may be most notable for being Rickie Fowler’s former roommate in Las Vegas before Fowler moved to Florida at the end of last year, but if he keeps playing like this he’ll be known for a lot more.
The former Georgia Tech standout has struggled at times this season, but he’s also shown some promise -- he shot a third-round 66 two weeks ago in Houston and earlier in the year tied for 21st at the Northern Trust Open.
As for his round today? He’s rolled in a couple of lengthy birdie putts -- a 28-footer on No. 2, a 22-footer on No. 7 -- and he has just one bogey.