The EDS Byron Nelson Championship began tournament week with U.S. Open-type scoring conditions (at least by past Nelson standards). The first-round lead stood at 3-under par 67, much higher than the average score by a Nelson first-round leader from the previous 23 years (63.7).
Now, another major championship has added its flavor to Nelson week. The final round is being played in British Open conditions, with temperatures in the 50s and north winds gusting to 30 mph. One day after watching fans stroll around in shorts, people are wearing parkas out there in the final round.
From a golf standpoint, that translates to a day of survival for 54-hole leader Adam Scott. Avoid major mistakes and it will be hard to squander a three-stroke lead because pursuers will have minimal birdie chances in these conditions. Scott is playing the part, thus far, through two holes.
He's gone bogey-par-par on his first three holes but has not lost any ground. He's still three strokes up on the field, with 15 holes remaining.
If Scott, the No. 10 player in the world golf rankings, can keep his shots from getting blown into water hazards as the day unfolds _ thereby minimizing the potential for double-bogey or worse _ he'll be a hard frontrunner to reel in today at the TPC Four Seasons Las Colinas course.
_ Jimmy Burch