Confident Cauley can charge late to worry Love
STORY SO FAR
DAVIS LOVE has thrown himself into his day-job since enduring
heartbreak as American Ryder Cup skipper three weeks ago and the busy veteran could be about to get small consolation for his Medinah hell by winning the McGladrey Classic in Georgia.
Love has played in every US Tour event since the Ryder Cup, without
making an impression, but teeing up on home soil this week has
The Sea Island native knows the Seaside Course like the back of his hand and his comfort on the layout has helped DL3 claim a share of the lead going into the final round.
Dejected Davis, who has admitted he has been struggling of late to
think about anything else apart from his team's dramatic Ryder Cup
failure, started the week as a 125-1 rag. He is no bigger than 3-1
with 18 holes to play.
Jim Furyk, who capitulated over the closing two holes of his Ryder Cup singles match to massively contribute to Love's woe, is the other
McGladrey joint-leader. Jolly Jim will not get much support from the
galleries, but he takes favouritism into Sunday.
-13 Davis Love, Jim Furyk
-11 DJ Trahan, Arjun Atwal
-10 Bud Cauley
-9 Will Claxton, Rory Sabbatini, Charles Howell, Mathew Goggin, Ben Crane
11-8 J Furyk, 3 D Love, 9 B Cauley, 14 A Atwal, 16 DJ Trahan, 28 C
Howell, 33 B Crane, R Sabbatini, 60 bar
DAVIS LOVE has been freewheeling this week, strolling around the
course during the day and hosting lavish barbecues in the evenings,
but one wonders whether tension will suddenly creep into the
tournament host's game at the business end of the event.
There has been a beautiful flow to Love's putting stroke over the
first three days and when DL3 putts well he should always be massively feared. With the pressure of trying to please his home support, though, and seeking some Ryder Cup redemption of sorts, it would be no surprise to see him tighten up on the greens.
There has to be every chance that both the leaders will tread water at
the top of the board. Jim Furyk has endured a series of final-day
calamities this season and will also be feeling the pinch. He blew
golden winning chances in the US Open and the Bridgestone
Invitational, before bogeying the 17th and 18th at Medinah to gift
Sergio Garcia a crucial Ryder Cup singles point.
Punters taking short prices about Furyk today will do so in the faith
that the 42-year-old will rediscover the winning mentality which has
guided him to 16 US Tour titles. But recent attempts at closing out
tournaments have been poor and his last triumph came more than two years ago. It is almost four years since Love's last victory.
There is definitely scope for someone to come from behind to gobble up both Love and Furyk. Arjun Atwal (175th on the money list) is playing for his US Tour future after a miserable campaign, so the Indian is unlikely to hold himself together, while DJ Trahan has only two low-grade victories in his locker (2006 Southern Farm Bureau Classic and 2008 Bob Hope Classic) from a decade as a pro and is in the same pressure-cooker as Atwal (151st in the money list).
RPSPORT followers may not want to put all their eggs in one basket,
but those on Bud Cauley at 30-1 should still have high hopes of
collecting. The shape of the leaderboard looks perfect for this
confident young buck to sneak under the radar and shed his maiden tag.
While Love and Furyk are fading forces, Cauley is just starting out on
what should be a hugely profitable career. He has got a sensational
swing, effortless power, and secured his US Tour card through invites
at the end of last term.
The 22-year-old showed what he is capable of with a first-round 62 on Thursday. He has holed nothing since, managing to advance only from eight under par to ten under, but can be expected to roll his ball
aggressively on the greens today in his quest for glory. Cauley will
have eyes for nothing but the trophy, while others are fretting about
reputations and dollars, and the 9-1 represents an irresistible
press-up opportunity for his backers.
Course-record holder Charles Howell could prove another powerful
dangerman from just off the pace, but anyone behind Cauley has their
work cut out. Trust Howell to win his final-round twoball against Rory Sabbatini, while David Toms should prove too steady for Gavin Coles.
B Cauley 1pt 9-1 general
C Howell 3pts 10-11 BetVictor
D Toms 3pts 8-11 general