Cejka's big opportunity at Players
BY Bruce Young | US PGA Tour | 2009 The Players Championship | Round Three | 10 May 2009
Alex Cejka not only has a chance to win his first PGA Tour event in tomorrow’s final round of the Players Championship but one of the most significant in tournament golf.
The German citizen, but Czech Republic born Cejka, leads by five over six players. That group includes none other than Tiger Woods whose round of 70 eased him into contention while those who had started the day ahead of him began to falter on the firm and fast TPC Sawgrass layout.
It was kind of tough out there, said Cejka. "You know, a little bit more wind blowing. The pins were pretty tricky, some of them, a couple in the corners. It’s tough to get the ball close to the hole, and it’s Saturday, so it’s tough to play. But overall I’m pretty happy with an even par round. I was trying to hang in there like a pit bull (laughter) in the double digits, so I’m very pleased.
Cejka has played the PGA Tour since 2003 but although a multiple winner in Europe prior to joining the PGA Tour he has been unable to break through in the US. This is his 195th start on the PGA Tour and he will not get a better opportunity. This is Cejka’s tournament to win or lose but there will be many who still feel they have a big chance to upset any potential celebration the 38 year old may be considering.
“I don’t know if I’m going to prepare myself overnight to play with him,” added Cejka referring to his final round date with Tiger Woods. “I’ve played with him twice before, once in an exhibition, once in the last round at the British Open. It’s been like eight years or so.”
“Yeah, it’s going to be tough. He’s the best player. But it’s going to be a good challenge for me. I know I have a lead, but it’s against not only Tiger but against the rest of the field. I mean, I’ve got to play well tomorrow to win here.”
Woods, Retief Goosen, Jonathan Byrd, Ben Crane, Henrik Stenson and Ian Poulter all share second at 6 under and five behind while Brian Davis, Kevin Na and John Mallinger are another shot further back.
John Senden is the best of the Australians in 17th position at 3 under, Robert Allenby faltered with a round of 75 to be at 2 under, Geoff Ogilvy is at 1 under, Nick O’Hern at even par, Aaron Baddeley at 2 over and Nathan Green, who made the cut, fell victim to the numbers (MDF) game and is eliminated following a round of 76.