Wednesday, 23 October, 2019

Simpson pulls away with course-tying 63

Ponte Vedra Beach FL USA Tiger Woods reacts to his shot on the 14th hole during the third round of The Players Championship Ponte Vedra Beach FL USA Tiger Woods reacts to his shot on the 14th hole during the third round of The Players Championship
Shannon Reynolds | 13 May, 2018, 04:56

Webb Simpson's clinic of a putting display at The Players Championship extended into Saturday's Round 3, giving him a seven-shot lead.

Simpson actually led by nine when he holed out from a bunker for a sensational eagle at the 11th, although he did open the door for the chasing pack with a three-putt bogey at 14 before going on to birdie 17 and card a 68 - his score of 19 under par matching the 54-hole scoring record for the tournament. He birdied eight of his first 12 holes and made one lone bogey on the back 9 to move him up 60 spots on the leaderboard. He tapped in for birdie.

Simpson's fellow first-round leader, American world number one Dustin Johnson, is now eight shots back after a 71, one behind the world's seventh-ranked player, Jason Day of Australia (67).

On the European Tour, Denmark's Lucas Bjerregaard shot 68 and Julien Guerrier a 65 to lead the Rocco Forte Sicilian Open at a wild and windy Verdura Golf Club.

With a 19-under total of 197, former US Open victor Simpson matched Norman's 1994 effort.

Get ready to see a lot of that famous red polo on Sunday because Tiger Woods vaulted himself toward the top of the leaderboard Saturday with a seven-under-par 65 in the third round at TPC Sawgrass.

"I've been making a bunch of birdies in the last few weeks and making just as many bogeys and the difference this week is obviously making a lot less bogeys", Schwartzel, who has dropped just one shot in 36 holes, said.

A bogey at the 14th and four subsequent pars dulled hope of a course record but Woods was purring when assessing his morning's work. "I just want to come out ready and not feel like I'm rushed and stick to the same routine we started with on Thursday and kept throughout the week".

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Also well-placed heading to the weekend is former world number one Jason Day. He was in the feature pairing with Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler, and Woods was the only one to make the cut.

Lee then made it a three-way tie for second with an fantastic recovery from a double-bogey seven at the 11th, the New Zealander making four birdies and an eagle over the last seven holes to match Schwartzel's 66.

"I was just a touch off today", he said.

He started out with an 8-foot birdie putt on the opening hole. This golf course identifies your faults really quickly, so the last two days it has just been really solid, driving the ball well. Simpson was unlikely to match the Friday heroics which saw him shoot 63 and duly did not.

Tiger said after getting -8 through 12, he had an eye on getting to -10 for the day, which would have been a course record. "I just rode the momentum", Simpson said after posting a 15-under 129 halfway total.

That gauntlet now falls to the likes of Day, who was on the other side of one of those lopsided races in 2016 when he began the final round at TPC Sawgrass leading by four and cruised to a four-shot victory.

"So we have basically taken it back wo where it was in 2011, 2010, when I was playing well", he said.

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