Saturday, May 26, 2012

Dufner and Johnson will Battle it out in Round 4

People like Tommy Gainey, Bo Van Pelt, and Tom Gillis either lost ground or stayed even while Johnson and Dufner lit it up. Aside from Gainey's shot from the cart path, he struggled to hit greens. He ended up finishing the round +3 (-4 total). Pelt ended up shooting par. Dufner has a total score or -15 and Johnson is on his tail with -14. The nearest person to Johnson is -7 which is Tom Gillis and he would need nothing short of a miracle in order to have a chance with the way the top 2 are playing.

Earlier in the round, Zach Johnson caught up to Jason Dufner quickly. As the round goes on, Dufner starts making more birdies which Johnson is narrowly saving par. On the 12th hole Johnson had a very nice clutch par, but it wasn't enough since Dufner made a birdie. Zach Johnson is in 1st place in scrambling in the tournament. The "theme" of his round (if that is what you want to call it) is: It doesn't matter how perfect you play, it matters how well you can play when you find yourself in trouble. He didn't hit many fairways, greens and he hit a lot of sand (especially on the back 9) but his high scrambling percentage really helped him in this round. He only had 1 bogey. Johnson had a beautiful shot on the water hazard line on the 15th where he saved par.

Where the tide started to turn was on the 16th hole where Johnson had a clutch birdie. Jason Dufner ended up bogeying bringing him to only a 1 shot lead. On the 17th hole, Both Dufner and Johnson had great 2nd shots...they were identical. Dufner hit his about 8 feet from the hole. Johnson then hits the same shot that spins and lands (even touches) right next to Dufner's ball. They both birdied the hole.

It seems pretty obvious that round 4 of the Crowne Plaza Invitational will be all about Zach Johnson and Jason Dufner. It would be highly unlikely that anyone else will come close to the lead considering that the next person is 7 shots off Zach Johnson. I was impressed with how well Johnson played considering his lack of greens and fairways hit which is the sign of a true player. Dufner hasn't really had a chance to show that skill, but no one knows that there is to store in round 4 of the CPI.

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