Crowne Plaza Invitational; Saturday Wrap up

The action has finally settled down on a beautiful Saturday afternoon in Fort Worth, Texas. The 2012 version of the Crowne Plaza Invitational is in full swing and as usual, this course proved that it will not let you get too full of yourself. The leader of the tournament Jason Dufner started to learn that fact around the 14th hole. But there will be more on that later.

Early in the day we had a big mover in Kelly Kraft, who started the day at two over par and would finish his day at 4 under. As he was leaving the course, you know he had to be hoping for a leader meltdown to give him a shot on Sunday. But in the early portions of the round that didn’t seem to be, as the leader group just took off from the rest of the field. The lead group held a steady five to six stroke lead over the third and fourth place group.

For most of the third round, it looked like it was Jason Dufner’s tournament to lose. He started out at 11 under and steadily rose as high as 16 under during the round. Then the old course decided to put Mr. Dufner in check and bring his score down just a little, three rough holes on 14,15, and 16 dropped his score back down to 14 under par and opened the door for his nearest competitor Zach Johnson. Johnson was able to capitalize with two birdies on 16 and 17 to pull back with one stroke after Dufner’s birdie on 17.

It all came down to 18, the final hole of round three to decide if Jason Dufner will stay the wire to wire leader or would we go into Sunday with a tie at the top. It was set up perfectly for Zach Johnson after a bad tee shot by Dufner. But in the end it wasn’t meant to be as Dufner will hold a one stroke lead going into Sunday. This could be a record setting Sunday for Dufner if he can hold on to win, he would be the first wire to wire winner since 1989 and would also be the first person to win in both Dallas and Fort Worth since Ben Hogan in 1946.

It isn’t over yet, the old course may throw some curveballs before it is all said and done. Sunday is set up for a great finish to one of the better tournaments in the PGA tour. No matter who wins tomorrow, it will finish off what has surely been a great weekend for the fans and spectators.

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