Entering the final round of the Valero Texas Open, Ben Curtis leads by three strokes over Matt Every. What else do you need to know in advance of Sunday's finale? Here’s a full slate of need-to-know info:
• Curtis is competing with only partial PGA Tour status this season, after finishing 149th on the money list a year ago. Because of those limitations, he has competed in only three previous tournaments, compiling a share of 14th place at the Puerto Rico Open to go along with a pair of missed cuts.
• What’s been the key to Curtis’ success so far this week? Well … everything. He ranks tied for second in driving accuracy, and leads the greens in regulation and strokes gained-putting statistics.
• How dire has Curtis’ situation been in recent years? Since 2009, he has made 68 total starts and earned just two top-10 results.
• There’s a little potential bad news looming for the Texas Open should Curtis claim the title on Sunday. Following his 2003 victory at the Open Championship, he has nabbed two other PGA Tour titles – at the Booz Allen Classic and 84 Lumber Classic, each of which is now defunct.
• Come-from-behind performance of the week – and perhaps of the entire season – so far belongs to John Huh. Starting on the back nine in his opening round, Huh carded two birdies, five bogeys, a double and a triple in posting an 8-over 44. Since then, he’s played the next 45 holes in 12 under, with a dozen birdies and 33 pars. He will start the final round in a share of third place, five shots off the lead.
• This week’s event features only three of the top 50 players on the Official World Golf Ranking. No. 15 Matt Kuchar is T-6; No. 47 Fredrik Jacobson is T-15; and No. 26 K.J. Choi missed the cut.
• Last year’s champion Brendan Steele is in a share of 21st place after rounds of 73-74-69. Zach Johnson (2008-09) is the last player to successfully defend at this event.
• Jordan Spieth, an amateur who plays collegiate golf at the University of Texas, made his third cut in five career PGA Tour appearances. He will try to become just the seventh amateur since 1940 to win a PGA Tour title, but starts the final round 10 strokes behind the leader.
• On Saturday, the average score was over par for the third straight round. In Round 1, the scoring average was 73.83; in Round 2, it was 74.62; and in Round 3, it was 74.10.
• In an uncommon occurrence on the PGA Tour, the most difficult hole on Saturday was a par 5, as the eighth hole played to a scoring average of 5.52 for the day.
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