HE’S THIS YEAR’S PAUL GOYDOS. Journeyman Alex Cejka, 38, has never won on the PGA Tour. In fact, Cejka has not won anything since 2002. Tonight he will sleep on the 54-hole lead of the Players Championship, which, if he manages to win, will be the crowning achievement thus far of a modestly successful career.
But how will Alex sleep? And, more importantly, how will he play in the final round?
Did anyone think Cejka would find himself in this position? I didn’t. After a 66-67 and the 36-hole lead, I thought Alex was a nice story that would fade back toward the pack where he has spent most of his career. He didn’t fade.
Now Cejka must do what Sean O’Hair couldn’t accomplish at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. He must hang on to a five-shot lead while playing in the shadow of golf’s Goliath, Tiger Woods.
Will this “David” win or will the enormity of the moment and pressure of Tiger’s presence crush him?
I root for the Alex Cejkas of the world. I love underdogs. Writing this late on Saturday night, I think he can get the job done. I believe par will be a good score for Alex tomorrow. It will be difficult for Tiger or any other player to come and get Cejka at TPC Sawgrass, which is getting tougher by the minute.
But I’ve also seen this scenario before and what it’s done to players. Alex will have to summon all the courage he can muster to execute the routine shots he’ll need to win the Players Championship.
Will he crack?
−The Armchair Golfer