Final Round Preview — PGA Tour — Shriners Hospitals for Children Open — TPC Summerlin — Las Vegas, Nevada —
Young Americans will have a chance to break through for their maiden PGA Tour victory Sunday in Las Vegas at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
The winner also receives full FedEx Cup points and a Masters invitation.
Ben Martin leads the way at 17-under following a third-round 62 including five straight birdies on the back-nine at TPC Summerlin. The 27-year-old logged three third-place finishes in 2014 season — Puerto Rico Open, RBC Heritage and at the Quicken Loans National. But, he also managed a host of missed cuts including here at TPC Summerlin last year.
Martin, 88th in the Official World Golf Ranking, leads Russell Knox by two shots when the final pair tees off at 1 p.m. local time Sunday. Knox, ranked 107th in the world, was a co-leader through 36 holes. He, too, has been close to PGA Tour triumph finishing runner-up at the Honda Classic in Florida last March.
Jimmy Walker, who earned three wins last season and sits 21st in the world ranking, jumped 27 places on the leader board to T-3 with a bogey-free 62 Saturday. He is tied with Andrew Svoboda — a 35-year-old journeyman looking for a breakthrough victory.
Look for the leaders to be challenged from at least one player in a pack at 12-under and T-5. Defending champion Webb Simpson headlines the group at five back along with Brooks Koepka. PGA Tour winners Scott Piercy, a local Las Vegas product, and Kevin Streelman are also at that number. Piercy has three straight 67s heading into the final round, while Streelman engineered a 63 in round three.
Martin was a 175-to-1 long shot to win this week, according to www.skybet.com, while Knox entered at 66-1. Koepka, Simpson and Walker were all listed at 20-1 to hoist the trophy.
Other Golf News:
- Henrik Stenson, 5th in the world rankings, is 1-down through 10 holes in the championship match at the Volvo World Match Play Championship in London. Stenson, a 5 1/2-1 betting favorite, went 3-1 in Ryder Cup play last month. Mikko Ilonen, who won the Irish Open in June, earned his spot in the finals taking out the previous undefeated Joost Luiten in the semi-finals. He was 33-1 long shot to start the week.
- Scott Hend, a long shot to win coming off a sting of missed cuts in the Web.com Tour Finals, captured the European Tour’s Hong Kong Open in a playoff. Hend (13-under) outlasted Angelo Que for the W. Mark Foster was in fourth, while Ernie Els and Marcus Fraser closed out the week T-5 and four shots back. Hend was 218th in the world ranking heading into the week.
- Jay Haas (12-under) leads the Champions Tour’s Greater Hickory Kia Classic by two shots heading into the final round. The 60-year-old is trying to win for the first time in a few seasons. Joe Durant, David Frost and Trip Triplett, who has two wins this year including the SAS Championship last week, are T-2.
- Kyu-Jung Baek (10-under) made birdie on the first playoff hole to beat In Gee Chun and Brittany Lincicome to win the LPGA KEB HanaBank Championship in Korea. The dramatic final round was full of contenders included Inbee Park, who shot 67 to finish a shot outside of the playoff. Baek was a whopping 125-1 long shot at Skybet.com.
- Catriona Matthew and Michelle Wie finished up T-5 in Korea. For Wie, she was making her return to the LPGA Tour after missing several weeks to recover from injury. Wie was slow out of the gate but shot 67-67 on the weekend.