April 21 2012
By Fred Albers, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent
Shut the face: Ben Curtis headed right to the driving range following his third round. He hit just eight fairways on Saturday and thought he knew the reason why -- he was shutting the club face. He spent time working on his grip and swing plane on the range and was encouraged by the perfect drive he hit on the 18th.
Slow Start: The combination of high winds and difficult greens made for a brutal pace of play in the third round. The course backed up from the very first tee. It took one hour to play the par-4 opening hole and the par-5 second. The last two groups were a combined 17 over for the opening nine. Ben Curtis teed off at 11:45 a.m. and finished at 5:36 p.m. local time. That's 5 hours, 51 minutes for a round of golf.
Wounded Warrior: Specialist Matthew Spang is part of the Wounded Warrior program and spent the day following Matt Kuchar in a wheelchair. Spang is a double amputee who lost both his legs while serving in Afghanistan. Kuchar rewarded him with autographed golf balls and gloves following the round and proudly posed for pictures, too.
The Question Mark: John Huh is known as the "question mark" for his unique last name but answered any questions about his determination this week. Huh played his first eight holes in 9 over on Thursday, but since then he is 13 under. It would have been easy fro him to withdraw after the opening 18 holes or even walk off at the turn. Huh turned lemons into lemonade and could win his second PGA TOUR event on Sunday.
Longhorns: Jordan Spieth let a good round slip away over his final seven holes. He was 5 under on the round but finished at even for the day after a double bogey on his final hole. The University of Texas freshman played with Texas alum Harrison Frazar, who also shot even par. They left the final hole, walking together, with Frazar quietly giving encouragement to Spieth.
Windy Day: Greg Chalmers proudly proclaimed he grew up in, "the third windiest city in the world." He's from Sydney, Australia, and was happy to see it blowing on Saturday. Chalmers managed to hit 10 greens and took just 25 putts. He rode the wind to a 3-under 69 and is tied for sixth place. Chalmers is hoping for even windier conditions in the final round. There is an expression on TOUR, "when the wind blows, the Aussies move up the leaderboard."
GIR: Why is Ben Curtis leading this golf tournament? Because he is hitting greens. Curtis has found a tournament best 38 of 54 greens in regulation and also leads in strokes gained-putting. That's a strong combination. If Curtis continues that on Sunday, he'll collect his fourth career win.