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July 29 2012

4:45 PM

A look at the contenders

As mentioned, there are nine players within six shots of Robert Garrigus’ lead. Then there’s the fact that only 10 54-hole leaders have held on to win this season.

With that in mind, here’s a look at some of his contenders.

William McGirt – 15 under
McGirt is coming off a tie for fifth last week in Mississippi, and he’s carried that momentum to this week. He ranks first in strokes gained-putting, three-putt avoidance, putts per round and is the only player not to miss from inside 10 feet all week (47 for 47).

The flip side to that is McGirt ranks near the bottom of the leaderboard in fairways hit -- Saturday, he hit just four of 14.

In 2011, McGirt was the last player to make the FedExCup Playoffs. He came into this week 118th in the FedExCup standings. A win would move him to 35th.

Scott Piercy – 14 under
Piercy has finished in the top 15 in each of his last two events and has played his last 11 rounds in the 60s at a combined score of 42 under. That 11 in a row, by the way, is the longest active streak on the PGA TOUR.

Part of the reason Piercy is in contention again: Putting. He’s second in the field in strokes gained-putting.

He’s also driven it well, at least the first two rounds anyway when he hit 21 of 28 fairways.

Bo Van Pelt – 12 under
Van Pelt has a rather dubious honor in that he has the most top 10s on TOUR since 2010 -- 19 -- without a win.

Of course if you put yourself in position enough times, eventually you’ll win. That’s what Van Pelt is thinking of course.

The next closest players during that span, by the way, are Charles Howell III and Ryan Moore with 14.

Scott Stallings – 12 under
Stallings comes into the final round off a career-low 63.

His previous career low? A 64, which he shot twice during the True South Classic last week.

Chris Kirk – 12 under
Kirk opened with a 29 on the front nine in the third round on his way to a career-low 63.

It was also his 11th career bogey-free round on TOUR and marked the first time he’s had two bogey-free rounds in the same week since last year’s True South Classic, which was his only career win.

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