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Three-way tie with 18 to play in Maui

Final Round Preview – PGA Tour – Hyundai Tournament of Champions – Kapalua Resort Plantation Course – Maui, Hawaii –

A three-way tie for the lead at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in Maui, Hawaii is the headline moving into the final round Monday at Kapalua.

With 36-hole leader Zach Johnson struggling Sunday at the Plantation Course with a 74 (1 birdie against two bogeys), several players climbed ahead at 14-under including Jordan Spieth, defending champion Dustin Johnson and former U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson.

The trade winds make comebacks inevitable in Hawaii. Look for some final-round fireworks and lead changes along with blown chances and super-hero shots before someone is crowded the first champion of 2014.

Hyundai tees off the PGA Tour 2014 seasonSimpson and Spieth, 20, play together in the final pairing at 11 a.m. local time in Hawaii just before the grouping of Johnson and Johnson. Zach is certainly a threat to bounce back from his 74. He carded a 66 Friday in round two, but his history at Kapalua is not favorable. Zach has just one Top 15 in six tries at the tournament.

Look for Dustin’s power to play a key factor with four par-5s on the par-73 layout. He was an 8-to-1 betting favorite at Ladbrokes.com heading into his defense, thanks to a November victory at the WGC-HSBC Champions in China.

For Simpson and Spieth, both finished in the Top 5 at the TOUR Championship to cap off the 2013 season. And, Webb continued his hot play into the wrap-around portion of 2013-2014 with a victory in Las Vegas and a 5th at Tiger Woods’ Northwestern Mutual World Challenge. Simpson was runner-up here in 2012 to Steve Stricker.

Simpson was 10-1, while Spieth was 25-1 to start the week in the betting parlors.

Other Golf News:

  • Matt Kuchar shot 75 in round three in Maui to slip back out of contention. Kuchar dropped from T-2 to T-16 with his Sunday struggles.
  • Brian Gay managed the round of the day Sunday in Maui carding an 8-under-65. It was a big bounce-back round after this second-round 76. He is T-16 moving into the final round.
  • Adam Scott and Spieth are among those playing in Maui who are scheduled to start next Thursday at the Sony Open on Oahu.
  • Phil Mickelson, idle this week in golf, was spotted Sunday at the NFL Wild Card Round Playoff game between his beloved San Diego Chargers and the Cincinnati Bengals.
  • Zach Johnson finished 2013 in fifth place at the FedEx Cup Standings. He rallied in late 2013 with two wins and another six Top 10 finishes.