Qatar Live Blog, Day Four (and other assorted Saturday Thoughts)

8:15 am

Congratulations to Branden Grace.  That tee shot on the drivable par-4 pretty much proved to be the deciding factor.  A good event.  I’m not a huge fan of these 20-under golf courses, though.  You don’t really know how players stand.  A player tied but five holes ahead is actually down by two shots.

7:20 am

My two guys, Grillo and Pepperell, are not out of it, but they really need to finish with a flourish if they intend to win.  The leaders are threatening to pull away.  My interest is lagging, as I don’t have any particular fondness for any of the leaders.  An would be a good winner, but he’s in the clubhouse, and the leaders will not back up to him on this course.

Jay Townsend, the American with European Tour Productions, reminds me why I say he talks too much.  He points out that one of Grillo’s approach shots would have been good yesterday when the hole was in a different location.  Wow, that’s so germane.

6:20 am

Is this a tournament of attrition or of surging?  An and Bourdy think it’s time to surge.  The overnight leaders are starting to crack.  My two horses, Grillo and Pepperell, are hanging around.  Grillo is par for the day, but has not lost contact.  Pepperell did the same at -1 on the day until just now picking up another birdie.  Maybe Eddie can make his own surge.

Eight players tied for the lead or one back.

5:45 am

Don’t look now, but here comes another Frenchman.  Bourdy is on fire today.  He’s six-under for nine holes, leads, and is very much in it, being only three holes ahead of the leaders.  Byeong Hun An also six-under on the day and shares the lead, but is two holes ahead of Bourdy.  An and Bourdy know the guys behind them will keep making birdies, so their leads are, in reality, more like being one or two strokes behind.  An, at age 23, is another of the youngsters playing so well this week.  Pepperell is two back, Grillo is one.

5:30 am

I think the European Tour Productions broadcasts are way better than any American offering, but…  they almost seem to be boycotting Grillo today.  Maybe it’s just me.

4:15 am

Here we go!  Grillo is teeing off in the final group.  Renato Paratore, the 18-year-old, has already shot himself out of it with two bogies in the first five holes.  There as so many potential birdies on this course that bogies are almost like doubles.  Maybe he can regroup and still get a top ten or fifteen finish.


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