Compton among four co-leaders at Humana


Things have gotten close in the California desert. Here's how they stand heading into the final round of the Humana Challenge, where a late stumble from Matt Kuchar left four other players sharing the lead:

Leaderboard: Erik Compton (-17), Bill Haas (-17), Justin Thomas (-17), Michael Putnam (-17), Matt Kuchar (-16), Ryan Palmer (-16), Steve Wheatcroft (-16), Scott Pinckney (-16)

What it means: Kuchar began the day with a one-shot lead, and he remained in front until a watery bogey on No. 17 was followed by another on No. 18. As a result, he is now chasing a quartet of co-leaders, including Haas, a winner here in 2010, and three men who are all in search of their first PGA Tour win.

Round of the day: Rory Sabbatini was in contention last week in Hawaii, and he again made a move up the standings thanks to a 9-under 63 in the third round. Sabbatini split his card evenly between birdies and pars at Nicklaus Private, and at 14 under he sits three shots off the pace.

Best of the rest: Shawn Stefani appeared headed for an early exit after an opening 75, but he bounced back with a 66 and earned a final-round tee time thanks to a 63 in Round 3. Stefani had seven birdies in addition to an eagle at Nicklaus Private to move up 68 spots in the standings. At 12 under, he trails by six.

Biggest disappointment: Kuchar reached 19 under at one point, and the only question seemed to be how large a lead he would carry into the final round. Instead, he struggled down the stretch with bogeys on three of his final four holes, and after a 1-under 71 he was the only player among the top eight who failed to break 70 in the third round.

Main storyline heading into Sunday: Pick your pony and get ready for a race to the finish. The remaining players will all return to the Palmer Private Course for an 18-hole shootout, as scores are expected to remain low amid ideal conditions. More than a dozen players will tee off with realistic aspirations of winning, though Compton could be the sentimental favorite as he chases win No. 1 following a pair of heart transplants.

Quote of the day: "Not at all the way I wanted to finish, but I guess the beauty about golf is that we play four rounds and we've got one more chance tomorrow." - Kuchar