Stricker at the Top in Kapalua

KAPALUA, HI - JANUARY 08: Steve Stricker plays a shot on the 10th hole during the third round of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions at the Plantation Course on January 8, 2012 in Kapalua, Hawaii. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

Flashback to Wednesday of last week when this post was submitted for your reading pleasure.  Now, I’m not pointing to this article to say I told you so, I’m merely using it as a point of reference for today’s discussion of the Tournament of Champions.  The fact that I’ve been right about the leader at Kapalua is completely irrelevant until the end of play today, so I’ll have to reserve my “I told you so’s” for Wednesday’s blog.  Heh.

Stricker has a 5 shot lead (-19) going into the last round today–and no one has lost a lead that large since the opener moved to Kapalua in 1999–but the way the course is set up, birdies are plentiful and it’s completely plausible that even as large as Stricker’s could vanish abruptly.  Stricker seems to understand that better than anyone.  He spoke with the AP yesterday after his round, “You’re in a position where you don’t want to screw up, but yet you’re on a course that birdies can be made and guys can come from a ways back. You need to make birdies. It’s kind of that fine line.”

Tied for second behind Stricker are defending champion Johnathan Byrd, Webb Simpson, and Martin Laird at -14.  The tournament ends today in time for the BCS Championship Game.  (Anyone got a pick?)

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