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Clear Favourite Thatcher Looks for First Tour Win in Final Round of 2010

It’s clearly within Roland Thatcher’s grasp and a continued run of sublime play could leave the journeyman holding the trophy at the Children’s Miracle Network Classic and pocketing his first career win.

A win is the ultimate goal, but having made only $288-thousand coming into the Tour’s final event his first priority is to secure his Tour card for 2011.  If Thatcher manages to do that, he’ll have to finish first or second and even a second place finish would be far and away his best finish in 2010. 

The Hampton, Virginia native has just one top ten finish with a T-10 at the Zurich Classic and has made just 9 of 24 cuts this year.  He does have a formidable four shot lead and has gone (-18) over the first three rounds.

It seems the bookmakers pegging him at (1-2) is warranted and is further bolstered by the fact there’s not a single ‘top tier’ player within realistic striking distance.

Even Rickie Fowler, who was close at times in the first two rounds, stands no realistic chance at victory.  The 21-year old only managed to tread water with a 69 on Saturday as low scores were the order of the day.

Fowler’s no longer the darling of bookies as he’s dropped all the way to (33-1) and he’ll need a career round and some wayward shooting front runners to get back into this one.

The bookmakers second pick is the man currently sitting four shots behind Roland Thatcher.  Chris Stroud couldn’t put a dent in Thatcher’s second round lead as he only managed to match the leader’s 70 in round three and he’ll go off at (8-1) in round four. 

As is the pervasive theme at the Tour’s final event of the season, Stroud is looking to hold onto his Tour card and his play over the first three days should get the job done.

Stroud needs to earn around $50-thousand to guarantee he holds onto his card and seeing as he’s currently in line to make around a half-million dollars if he can hold onto second place it’s almost a surety he’ll secure his playing privileges for next year.

If you want to take a real flyer, Jerry Kelly will tee off Sunday at (125-1).  In an attempt to redefine ‘anything can happen’, the former hockey player will try and go real low in a relatively vain attempt to extinguish Thatcher’s 7 shot lead.  His best finish of the season was a 3rd place finish at the Turning Stone Resort Championship in August.


This is a game. That's all it is. It's not a war    - Jack Nicklaus

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