Originally created 03/10/02

It's anybody's game in Honda



CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. - If the Honda Classic stays true to past form, all those young players near the top of the leaderboard will fade in today's final round and an experienced veteran will step forward.

There are a lot of players who fit those two descriptions with a chance to win at the TPC at Heron Bay course.

Forty-three players are within six shots of the lead, held by Mike Weir and Brett Wetterich.

Weir, a three-time PGA Tour winner, had a 24-hole day on Saturday. He played 14 holes to complete a second-round 65, then played 10 more holes of his third round before darkness halted play.

Weir and 49 other players will complete their third rounds this morning in a tournament that is still trying to catch up from Thursday's rain delay.

Then they'll head out for the final round, where the winner will earn $630,000.

In addition to Weir, other name players in strong contention are Joey Sindelar, Fred Couples, Brad Faxon, Billy Andrade, Phil Mickelson and Kenny Perry.

Sindelar is one shot back while the others are three back. None of them have completed their third rounds.

Little-known players such as Wetterich, John Riegger and Stephen Gangluff are bidding to become the fifth first-time winners on the PGA Tour this season. Riegger and Gangluff are one shot off the lead, as is former Georgia Tech All-American Matt Kuchar.

Of the group, Gangluff and Kuchar were in a group of only 21 players to complete their third rounds Saturday. They shot 66s.

Kuchar expects to be at least four shots back when the final round starts.

"Everything has been such a rush this week after the rain delay on Thursday," Kuchar said. "I'm just glad to be done with my round. I'm not thinking too much about the lead or the tournament right now. I'll do that tomorrow before I tee off."

Wetterich, playing his first full season on the PGA Tour, is tied with Weir for the lead at 14-under par. Wetterich is four-under par on his third round through 11 holes and Weir is three-under par through 10 holes.

"I do have a little bit of the experience factor, in that I've won in the last little bit," Weir said. "I was in their situation not too long ago and I was hungry to get my first win. So there's a lot of motivation there. They will be anxious to do it."

"I haven't thought about winning; I'm just trying to keep my emotions in check and think about what I've got to do,," Wetterich said.

Riegger is one-under par for his round through 10 holes. Gangluff shot a 65 Saturday and is the clubhouse leader at 13-under par 203.