Reed hits from the third tee during the final round of
the Honda Classic golf tournament, Sunday, March 1,
2015, in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
GARDENS, Fla. — Ian Poulter twice hit into water on the
sixth hole, including his shot from the fifth tee. There was
a three-shot swing on one hole, a two-shot swing on another.
That was just the final hour of the Honda Classic on Sunday.
might have been a prelude to the sprint-to-the finish on
long day ended at soggy PGA National, Poulter and Paul Casey
were tied for the lead at 7-under par — Poulter on the
eighth tee, Casey in the rough on the 10th hole. They were
one shot ahead Patrick Reed, who fell out of the lead with a
bogey on his final hole at the par-3 seventh.
Mickelson was among four players who were three shots behind
at 4-under par. That group included Daniel Berger, the PGA
Tour rookie from West Palm Beach whose final shot Sunday was
a 35-foot chip-in for birdie on the 11th hole.
sort of situation is going to be difficult for everybody,
and it just breaks up momentum," said Casey, who had
more than anyone after going out in 31. "Some guys will
carry it through tomorrow. Others won't, and that's very
difficult to predict. ... You just hope you wake up tomorrow
and you feel like you've got the same kind of golf swing and
putts are going in the hole. You just don't know. Hope the
golfing gods are nice to us tomorrow."
Poulter hits from the first fairway during the final
round of the Honda Classic golf tournament, Sunday,
March 1, 2015, in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
finish was not a surprise.
rain and 50 mph gusts washed out the third round on
Saturday, the plan was to get in as much golf on Sunday as
possible and wrap it up the next morning. For a short time,
it figured to be a dull finish. Poulter shot 4-under 66 in
the third round on Sunday to build a three-shot lead over
Reed and Padraig Harrington, and there was nothing to
suggest he would make it easy on those trying to catch him.
8-iron on the par-3 fifth.
beautiful shank," he described it.
understandable that a player would find water on the fifth
hole because it guards the left side of the green. Fourteen
players had done that this week. Poulter's ball shot off to
the right and bounced into the water in front of the sixth
double bogey, and when Reed holed a 35-foot birdie putt from
the valley right of the green, they were tied.
then pulled his tee shot into the water left of the sixth
fairway, had to two-putt from 65 feet to salvage bogey and
suddenly was one shot behind.
didn't even realize that I had a three-shot lead at that
stage but I was in cruise control, shall we say, not making
bad swings," he said. "I was in position a lot. As
I said, you take your foot off the accelerator for one
second, all of a sudden you find yourself completely out of
position making an easy double bogey.
Casey hits from the first tee during the final round
of the Honda Classic golf tournament, Sunday, March 1,
2015, in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
yeah," he concluded, "I was internally very angry,
shall we say."
angry enough for his eyes to bulge a little wider, the blood
to boil a little more, and he fired a 6-iron into 3 feet for
birdie. That gave him a share of the lead again, only this
time with Casey, who made his fourth birdie of the front
nine from 6 feet at the ninth hole. Reed went left of the
seventh green and failed to get up-and-down to fall one shot
And then it
was time to stop.
that, the final round — the final lap — was loaded with
opened with two quick birdies and was getting closer to the
lead until pushing a 4-foot par putt on the sixth hole.
Mickelson had 10-foot par putt on the ninth hole when he
returned Monday morning.
looking forward to just having a minute to regroup and take
a look at what's going on," Mickelson said.
Overton, Brendan Steele and Russell Knox, who lost in a
four-man playoff last year at PGA National, also were at 4
trying to look at the big picture.
pretty pleased with the golf I've played throughout the
whole of today," Poulter said. "I haven't really
made many mistakes at all. I've put it in position an awful
lot, which is encouraging right now. And If I do that
tomorrow, then I'm going to be in a good position."
right about that much. He did play some good golf, except
for those two holes. He was bogey-free for a 66 in the third
round, taking him from a two-shot deficit to a three-shot
lead over Reed and Harrington going into the final round. It
was his first 54-hole lead on the PGA Tour.
twice missed short putts — making bogey on No. 4 and
double bogey on No. 6 — and was at 3 under in the final