What was a six-shot lead for Roland Thatcher at one point in the third round is now down to just one -- Thatcher is even through his first five holes, while Robert Garrigus is 4 under through six and now 17 under for the week.
KODAK UPDATE: Troy Merritt had a chance to win the Kodak Challenge with a birdie on the par-4 17th Sunday, but he managed just a par. Merritt had 150 yards in and hit his approach shot to 33 feet, but he missed the putt. That means unless Rickie Fowler or Aaron Baddeley eagles the hole there will be a three-way playoff following the conclusion of the tournament.
MONEY LIST MOVERS: A number of players are vying for a spot in the top 125, but two players are trying to squeeze out a spot in the 30 here in the final round. In essence, if Heath Slocum can finish higher than J.B. Holmes on the leaderboard here at Disney, he’ll move inside the top 30 and secure a spot in the field for next year’s Masters and U.S. Open.
FOWLER IN CONTENTION: Rickie Fowler is 3 under through his first eight holes … and suddenly in contention at 14 under. That also could have a direct impact on Brett Wetterich’s future. Wetterich, who is now tied with Fowler, needs to finish solo third or better to fulfill his major medical exemption, which would make him fully exempt for 2011. Wetterich does however at least have one more start next year, not to mention q-school this year, if he needs it. The point? There’s a lot of fluidity on the leaderboard right now in terms of the top 125.
For Brett Wetterich to earn enough money this week to fulfill his major medical and be exempt for next season, he needs to finish third or better this week. Right now, he’s alone in fifth at 13 under after playing his first 13 holes in 4 under today.
As mentioned, though, Wetterich has two more starts, including this one and one next year, to earn $293,255. Of course had he burned those starts this season and earned enough to fulfill the major medical, his top 125 exemption would have been good for just this season. Now, if he earns the required amount between this week and one start next year, he’ll be exempt all of next season. Obviously, he played his cards correctly in attempting to regain his card. -- Brian Wacker
After missing all of 2009 while recovering from a shoulder injury, Brett Wetterich is playing this season on a major medical, meaning he has two more events, including this week’s Children’s Miracle Network Classic, to earn $293,255 to retain full status on the PGA TOUR.
Well, if Wetterich keeps playing like he is right now that won’t be a problem. He’s currently 4 under on his round and 13 under for the week and alone in second place -- a vast improvement from his last two starts in which he missed the cut.
To this point, Wetterich has earned $437,822 in 15 starts with his best finish a tie for eighth at the Viking Classic (his lone top-10 of the season).
Still, the last couple of years have not been kind to the one-time Ryder Cupper. In addition to ‘09, Wetterich missed much of ‘08 when he had just 11 starts, making the cut in seven of them. That year, his shoulder injury forced him to withdraw from the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship and he then injured his wrist while preparing for the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines. Wetterich’s lone victory on TOUR came in 2006 EDS Byron Nelson Championship. -- Brian Wacker
The second round is wrapping up in San Antonio, where four players -- Brett Wetterich, Jimmy Walker, James Nitties and Matt Jones -- share the lead at 7 under.
Saturday wasn’t exactly a birdie fest, but only one player (Paul Stankowski) in the top 20 was over par in the second round. The end result is that 28 players are within four shots of the lead going into what will be a very busy Sunday with players going off split tees in groups of three with the hopes of getting all 36 remaining holes in. -- Brian Wacker
Matt Jones, the 48-hour leader after an opening-round 66 Thursday, is just even par through his first 10 holes here in the second round. As a result, he’s a shot back of the lead of Brett Wetterich and Jimmy Walker, both of whom are already in the clubhouse.
Wetterich and Walker have plenty of company, though, with a dozen players within two shots of them. That includes a group of five players just one shot back. In all, there are 23 guys within four shots, including Sergio Garcia. With that many people hanging around and the cut not coming until the second round is completed today, Sunday should give new meaning to the term moving day. -- Brian Wacker
Last year was a lost one for Brett Wetterich. He missed the entire season with a lingering shoulder injury that limited him to just 11 events in 2008. That injury, however, ultimately led to a wrist injury that has hampered the 36-year old this year. Playing on a Major Medical Extension, Wetterich has 17 events to earn just over $731,000. So far, he’s cashed just one check in 2010, for a little more than $13,000. So it goes without saying that this is a big week for Wetterich, who has a share of the clubhouse lead at 7 under after closing with three straight birdies for a 69 in the second round.
The other player Wetterich shares the lead with? Jimmy Walker. He’s had his share of injuries, too, with a 2005 neck injury plaguing him for much of the past few years. Walker has done most of his damage this week with the putter, ranking in the top 10 in the field in putts per green in regulation. -- Brian Wacker