I will actually be playing during the final round tomorrow, so I will dole out my 2 cents now.
Predicting golf, unless Tiger is leading going into the final round, is about as inexact a science as you can have.
I didn’t think Tiger would close well at the Masters because of his swing issues, but I didn’t pick Cabrera either.
I did a pretty good job at the US Open. Had Phil not made two bogies coming in, my predictions would have been perfect for the entire top 10.
Every other #1 player had won the previous stops at Turnberry, but Tiger missed the cut…so I will be very generous and call myself two for four so far in predictions this year.
I see one of three scenarios…all about equally likely.
1. Someone behind goes low, posts a number and Harrington and Tiger don’t catch it. Perry and Cabrera are the most likely, IMO. Firestone is a bear, but great players who get it going can shoot low for one day. The number would have to be 63 or 64, Harrington would have to shoot 70+ and Tiger 67+. Even when he has been winning, Tiger has had trouble playing 4 rounds in a row without struggling at least one day. Harrington, while very experienced, is working on a new move. If someone at 4 under goes low and gets to 10 or 11 under, that might just be enough for Tiger and Harrington to press and not go low themselves. Before you throw stones at me, Tiger has always been better playing from in front.
2. Tiger makes an early push and Harrington’s new move falters just enough for Tiger to take him down. IMO, Harrington is too expereinced to fold completely like many do playing the final round with Tiger, but he has not been the 2008 Harrington.
3. Harrington plays steady the front 9 and Tiger doesn’t make an early push. IMO, this would be tough for Tiger and here is why. I have been very obvious in my disdain for his swing, but also amazed at how well he is doing with it. When his rhythm has been good, he has won…as soon as he starts to press, the wheels have fallen off. See the 4th round at the Players, the last 2 holes at Augusta and the second round at Turnberry. It the leaders make the turn and Tiger is still 2-3 behind and Harrington shows no sign of dropping any shots, I see Tiger getting the way rights on the back nine.