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The Tour Report

March 11 2012

12:30 PM

Can anyone catch Watson?

By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM

DORAL, Fla. -- Bubba Watson leads by three shots entering today’s final round, but as we’ve seen this season final-round leads on the PGA TOUR are about as safe as running into a burning building. Only three 54-hole leaders have won this year, and four of the other six winners have come from at least six shots back.

With that in mind, here’s a closer look at those pursuing Watson.

Keegan Bradley

This is just the second World Golf Championships event for last year’s PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year, but he has acquitted himself quite well with zero bogeys over the last two rounds here. And keep this in mind: In his two previous wins, Bradley came from four back (HP Byron Nelson Championship) and one back (PGA Championship) after 54 holes. And in the latter of those he rallied from four shots down with three holes to play. Bradley also ranks third in strokes gained-putting this week at 1.587.

Justin Rose

This is just the fourth stroke-play event of the year for Rose, but he’s improved every week. Rose tied for 33rd at the Farmers Insurance Open, 13th at the Northern Trust Open and last week tied for fifth at The Honda Classic.

Rory McIlroy

McIlroy charged into contention by going out in 30 on Saturday and at one point was within a stroke of the lead before a couple of bogeys on the back nine knocked him down a couple pegs on the leaderboard. And remember, the last time he shot a 62 on TOUR was in the final round of the 2010 Wells Fargo Championship, which he won. At eight back, though, he has a lot of ground to make up. He’ll need to have another round like he did on Saturday when he took just 23 putts.

Tiger Woods

Looking for his first official victory since the 2009 BMW Championship, Woods enters the final round also eight shots back. Having finished in a tie for second last week, Woods has not had back-to-back top-10s since 2009 at the BMW Championship and TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola, where he finished second. Like McIlroy, Woods had just 23 putts in the third round -- the problem was he hit just 10 greens in regulation.