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March 3 2013

7:15 PM

Honda Classic: Sunday observations

Michael Thompson entered The Honda Classic 197th in the FedExCup standings. He's now ranked 11th.
(Ehrmann/Getty Images)

By Fred Albers, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent

It has been said every player on the PGA TOUR is one swing thought away from victory. The talent level is so high and there is so very little that separates the top from the bottom. That came to fruition at The Honda Classic on Sunday in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

Champion Michael Thompson had made one cut this year and ranked 197th in the FedExCup standings coming into The Honda Classic. Geoff Ogilvy, who placed second, had missed four straight cuts and was 144th in FedExCup points.

Every player on the PGA TOUR is capable of winning every week. Several players, who are off to rough starts in the 2013 season, will look at this week's final leaderboard and draw inspiration.

OBSERVATIONS

Changes: PGA National changed dramatically over the course of the week. Golfers found a lush layout upon arrival with receptive greens. That changed with the wind. PGA National became very firm as wind sucked moisture from the greens. The frustration level was extremely high for both weekend rounds. Patience was a player's greatest attribute.

Back nine: When the wind blows into the face of golfers at the 10th hole, it’s always a challenge. At 508 yards, the 10th was a very difficult test in the final round. Players tried to reach the green by hitting 250-yard 3-woods, when the right play might have been a low runner, short of the green and then attempt a chip and hopefully one-putt for par. Just because the scorecard says par 4 doesn’t mean the hole played that way on Sunday. It was the toughest on the golf course playing to a stroke average of 4.68.

Golf shot: Geoff Ogilvy sure did not look headed for birdie at the 16th hole. He drove into a bunker and then flew the green with his approach. With his ball nestled down into the rough, Ogilvy flipped a wedge about five yards onto the green and watched as the ball trickled toward the cup. It rolled across the edge, hanging on the lip of the cup for just a second before tumbling home.

Bounces: Thompson thought he had missed the 16th fairway. His ball hooked left and took a bounce toward the primary rough and then suddenly took a bizarre kick back to the right. Instead of the primary rough, his ball settled into a much more manageable lie in the first cut. When Thompson arrived at the ball, he thought it had bounced off a person and thanked the gallery, never realizing it was a good bounce. The odds evened out on the green, when his par putt lipped out after catching a good portion of the cup. Thompson had a good and bad break all within 10 minutes.

Fred Albers is a course reporter for SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio. For more information on SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio, click here

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