January 9 2012
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
KAPALUA, Hawaii – Jonathan Byrd needs to make up five strokes in order to catch playing partner and tournament leader Steve Stricker in Monday’s final round at the Plantation Course. But despite the large deficit, don’t expect significant changes in his game plan.
“I don’t foresee myself changing my game plan a whole lot,” said Byrd, who entered this week as the defending champion. “I’ve just got to make putts and Stricker has got to not play like he’s been playing.”
One is at the 297-yard par-4 14th. Byrd has laid up on that hole each of the first three rounds, although he did make birdie in the third round after hitting his second shot to within eight feet. But depending on where he stands on the leaderboard, his thought process might change Monday.
“That’s a possible hole that you may pull out a driver if you need to make a 2,” he said.
Also, Byrd could decide to be more aggressive on the par 5s. This week, he’s 6 under on the par 5s and 8 under on the par 4s. Stricker, on the other hand, has dominated the par 5s – he’s 11 under on those holes.
“You might be a little more aggressive going at a pin on the green,” Byrd said.
Steve Stricker and Jonathan Byrd will tee off at 4:05 p.m. ET (11:05 a.m. in Hawaii)