IRVING, Texas — Look for the winner to come from one of the Big Three — that's Jason Day, Blake Adams and Jeff Overton. Never mind that you have to be a lifetime Golf Channel subscriber to have heard of them. They have separated themselves from the rest of the field. Day is two ahead of Adams, three ahead of Overton. Then there's a threesome five shots back, and a posse six shots back.
Anything's possible, as they say in PGA Tour commercials, but just not likely. Day, a young Aussie hailed as the next big thing a few years ago before back and wrist injuries slowed his development, is a very promising player who admits that winning on the PGA Tour would "get the monkey" off his back.
Jordan Spieth. He's the story of the tournament, a 16-year-old local high school golfer and also the U.S. Junior Amateur champion. He's tied for seventh, six shots behind Day, and he's wise beyond his years. It's impressive enough that he's played his best golf in front of his buddies (his high school called off classes this week because of him), it's even more impressive what he's been telling the media. Gems like, "I saw a newspaper lying in the locker room with a big picture of me in it and said, 'Oh, man,' and just kept walking… I don't want to get caught up in the story of 'the 16-year-old.'… This is the experience of a lifetime, so far."
Kenny Perry. He turns 50 later this year and lately has been talking like a beaten man because he's played poorly and isn't sure he can still compete with the young guys. Guess he can since he's tied for fourth, five back, despite a double at the 14th hole. He's got the most experience of anyone near the lead. As a high-ball hitter, he often has trouble in high winds, although he put up a 66 Saturday in very gusty conditions.
Tin Cup. Blake Adams is the legend of Tin Cup, alive and well. He's 34, a rookie, and he lives in a small town in south Georgia where he practices by hitting balls on a dirt road and shagging them himself with the help of his Labrador retriever. He busted up his body playing sports earlier in his life, so now he has doctors telling him he needs a pair of new hips. He's blown out his rotator cuff and just getting out of bed each morning is no small feat. But the man can play. Spieth already has the Cinderella story spoken for this week, but Adams winning would be a Boo Weekley kind of feel-good moment, too.