Men's Golf

Honda Classic 2013: Predictions for Final Round of Play in Florida

PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL - MARCH 02:  Luke Guthrie hits his tee shot on the 14th hole during the third round of the Honda Classic at PGA National Resort and Spa on March 2, 2013 in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Ben ChodosCorrespondent IIMarch 2, 2013

Saturday’s action is over at the 2013 Honda Classic, and there is just one round left to play at PGA National. 

Michael Thompson and Luke Guthrie are tied atop the leaderboard, with Lee Westwood and Geoff Ogilvy lurking two strokes back. All scores are available via PGATour.com.

Windy conditions led to higher scores on Saturday, and the players will need to remain focused after a long three days. They appear headed for a thrilling finish.

Here are my predictions for the final day at the 2013 Honda Classic.

 

Luke Guthrie Will Take the Top Spot

Guthrie will be locked in a dogfight with Thompson for the lion’s share of the prize money, and the rookie will have a chance to show off his discipline.

He showed great resolve on Saturday in the face of strong winds. After starting the back nine with a bogey, he saved par on each remaining hole in order to keep a share of the lead. 

Regardless of the weather, Guthrie has shown maturity indicative of a player far older than 23. 

The PGA Tour has already seen one rookie win an event this year when Russell Henley came out on top at the Sony Open, and Guthrie will continue the trend on Sunday.

 

Tiger Woods Will Shoot Below Par 

Woods started slow with a 70 during the first round, and the fans in Florida expected him to improve on Friday. But on his second run through the course he did not fare any better.

Sure enough, he remained a model of consistency on Saturday with his third straight 70.

However, shooting par for the round today was much more difficult due to the wind, and his ability to turn in a decent day hints that he is ready to finally lower his score.

Expect Woods to turn in his best round of the tournament on Sunday.

 

The Biggest Storyline From the Tournament Will Be Rory McIlroy

With a Tiger Woods victory being an unlikely event heading into the final day, no other player in the field will be more intriguing to the media than McIlroy.

A win from Guthrie will certainly get press, but going forward, pundits will have much more to say about the Northern Irishman’s teeth than anything else from PGA National. 

As ESPN’s Gene Wojciechowski notes, two headlines from British papers involving McIlroy read, “Petulant Act of Walking Off at Honda Classic Strips Golf's Golden Boy and World No. 1 of His Halo” and “Teething Problems for Rory McIlroy.”

Withdrawing from a tournament due to pain caused by his wisdom teeth shows his youth in many ways, and it will be an enduring subject of discussion regardless of the actual results of the competition. 

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