Simpson wraps up a third-round 68!
He’ll be very satisfied with -19 and a seven-shot lead to take into Sunday’s final round. James Corrigan’s report from Sawgrass will be with you shortly. Thanks for reading!
Birdie for Simpson!
A simple one at the 17th and his lead is back to seven shots: -19 for the Championship with one more hole to play in his third round.
Danny Lee making late progress
The New Zealander has just birdied the 16th to cut Simpson’s lead to six – he’s -12, and now tackling the accommodating 17th green as I type. A chance?
Woods, Dufner and Spieth are today’s big winners, clearly, but it’s Simpson’s Championship to lose tomorrow.
Simpson on the 15th…
He has an eight-foot putt for a birdie, but it drifts left and he’ll have to go again for par.
Dustin Johnson on whether anyone can threaten Simpson’s lead tomorrow:
“It all depends on the weather and who is leading and how they play. This golf course is tough. If it’s windy tomorrow like it was today and you’re not very sharp, you’re going to struggle around here. But you can also shoot a really good score in these conditions.”
Bogey for Simpson!
A rare slip for the 2012 US Open champion. He overcooks a putt on the 14th green, which picks up speed past the hole and leaves a ten-footer uphill for par. Steady…
At the 12th…
Simpson has a ten-footer for yet another birdie…but it just drifts to the left. A mere par for the runaway leader and -20 will have to wait.
Poulter is ‘raging’
“There was a lot of good stuff today. It was always going to be tricky in the wind. I thought the course was receptive and I could get at some pins.
“I’m going to not use expletives on television but I need to go hit some balls for 20 minutes to clear the few brain cells I’ve got left up there.
“It was a decent round, but then there is the double at the last. I am a little agitated and frustrated right now. I am raging right now.”
Simpson goes out in 34!
A nerveless birdie at the 9th takes him back to -17 and restores that seven-shot lead again. It was Tiger’s day earlier, but that is being quickly forgotten.
As I report his progress, he ends up in a bunker at the 18th, and can’t dig himself out of it at the first time of asking. A late blot on his impressive day-three copybook, this. He has a seven-footer for a bogey…and he’s missed it.
Double bogey, then, and a 69 for the day.
Bogey for Simpson at the 8th!
Just as Sky Sports analyse his putting grip in forensic detail, he misses a ten-footer for par and drops a shot – he’s -16 now. Meanwhile, Poulter – runner-up last year – birdies the 17th to get into double figures!
Simpson at the 8th…
A moderate breeze takes his tee shot over to the left and into the crowd. Charl Schwartzel – on the back of a bogey and a par – also goes a bit left.
Tommy Fleetwood’s 68 today has taken him to -8 for the Championship:
“A lot of the day was frustrating for the most part with a couple of chances I did not make. I was frustrated until the last few, so it is always nice to get that finish in.”
Dufner’s 66 is an eye-catching one to follow Spieth’s earlier 65. Poulter’s having a good day, but nobody has managed to make inroads into the lead of Simpson.
Simpson pars the 5th, but Schwartzel misses from eight feet to bogey, which extends the American’s lead to seven shots. In other news, I have noodles.
A new face at -10
Webb Simpson and Charl Schwartzel secure par at the 3rd and then produce a birdie apiece at the 4th. Meanwhile, among the chasing pack, Charles Howell III pops up with a birdie at the 4th to get in the mix.
As the final groups get going, here’s how things shape up on day three right now.
“What is wrong with these light-beer-drinking….”
Ian Poulter’s latest outburst, this time at the 13th tee, tails off before he really gets going. Suspect the crowd might have irritated him that time.
…and now it’s back to six
Cantlay bogeys carelessly at the 3rd to restore Simpson’s six-shot lead, while the headliner tries to make par on the 2nd – he takes care of that business with a tap-in.
The lead is back to five
Patrick Cantlay cancels out Simpson’s birdie with one of his own on the 2nd. He’s -11 now, and has second place all to himself for the moment.
Poulter riding his luck again
He zig-zags his way down the 11th, and somehow still salvages a birdie at the end of it. He’s now -9, and worth keeping an eye on. Since you’re reading this, I guess I’ll be doing that for you.
Birdie! That’ll settle any nerves
On the 1st green, Webb Simpson moves to -16 and extends his lead to six shots. Charl Schwartzel makes par to remain at -10.
Webb Simpson is off and running!
Five-stroke lead for the North Carolinian, and he belts his opening drive straight down the 1st fairway. Solid start to his day of keeping everyone at an arm-and-a-half’s length.
Alex Norenand Henrik Stenson are out on the course, looking to make a dent in the -10 group at the very least. Stenson is -2 after five holes.
“I think it is [close to my best golf]. As I’ve told you guys this week, I got my playing feels back and it’s just a matter of playing and executing and putting the shots together.
“It was nice, I made some putts today, that was basically the difference. I’ve hit quality irons before and I was able to convert today and got rolling early.
“This golf course, as humid as it is right now, these greens are going to be holding all day and I knew that going in and I knew I had to be a little bit more aggressive in there and put the ball in these sections and I was able to do that.”
Dustin Johnson and Adam Scott have both just improved to -8 for the Championship with birdies at the 2nd. The featured groups starting to roll out now, with the leaders due to start in about 20 minutes. Hotting up!
Living with a Tiger (for three hours or so)
More Mac Hughes on his day with Tiger: “It’s 90 degrees, but I can assure you I had some goosebumps and shivers at times out there when you hear some of the roars and you realize that you’re playing with Tiger Woods.”
— Ryan Lavner (@RyanLavnerGC) May 12, 2018
“On the tee…”
Sergio Garcia and Bryson DeChambeau (both -7) get their third round off and running in the rising Florida humidity. The latter finds the pine needles over to the left.
“That’s so bad…..it’s good.”
Poulter dribbles one on to the 5th green. Unorthodox, but effective. The crowd enjoys his commentary, mainly because sports crowds will laugh at anything.
Ian Poulter - runner-up here in 2017 – is one-under after three holes, which takes him to -6 for the tournament.
Justin Rose, who harboured slim hopes of taking the world no.1 spot this week, is two-over for the day and -2 overall.
Tiger settles for -8
It’s four consecutive pars to stall his third-round momentum. This approach shot gave him a sniff at the 18th…
…but it just straightens up as it creeps up the slope. 65 for Tiger.
Hughes sinks his five-footer, before Tiger – whose 42-foot bid for glory is good enough to set up a par putt of his own – does the same. On to the 18th…
Tiger at the 16th…
A good tee shot is followed by a drifting approach shot that lands in the bunker. He digs himself out of that superbly and has an eight-footer for birdie. Three of those and he’ll have the course record!
His playing partner Mackenzie Hughes birdies for -5! Can Woods follow suit? No, he lips out!
Woods sneaks on to page 1, but the rest of them won’t tee off for another couple of hours or so.
Woods narrowly misses a 33-footer on the 15th!
His tee shot sent him into the sand on the right, but he atoned for that and nearly stole himself a birdie! He’ll remain steady with a par, but Spieth has just joined him on -8 on the way to the clubhouse.
He drops a shot at the 14th, thanks to a poor tee shot, and falls back to 8 under for the week.
Spieth conquers the 17th
He’s birdied there from three feet and is now -7 for the Championship as he heads for the final hole of the day.
Golf’s enough of a test of nerves when you’re up there to be shot at, but Webb Simpson isn’t even on the course yet, and is having to watch Tiger eat away at his overnight lead, bit by bit.
Tiger sinks an eight-footer up the hill on the 12th! Nine under on day three after just surviving the cut last night! This could be a cracking day of golf.
He’s not hanging around either.
Spieth also making a move on day three
He’s just missed a long birdie putt on the 15th, following a bogey on the 14th, but he’s still -4 for the day and -5 overall. He’s jumped 42 places in the process.
Another birdie for Tiger!
His eagle putt on the 12th offers up a straightforward-ish birdie and the main man is now -8 for the Championship! Webb Simpson will just have to sit and watch this until he can get out there and respond in a few hours.
Tea time tee times:
FYI, the leading pack – Simpson, Charl Schwartzel, Patrick Cantlay et al – are off and running from about 7.30pm BST
Tiger: officially on the prowl
All other players are “on the march” if they pick up a couple of shots, but Woods has his own vocabulary. He’s gone through the first nine in THIRTY.
Caught in a Webb
We’ll get stuck straight into the third-round action shortly, but here’s where we left off last night – James Corrigan reports:
Webb Simpson, the 2012 US Open champion, sent out a dramatic reminder of his quality here in the second round of The Players Championship with a course-record-equalling 63 which saw him skipping the field on 15-under.
In 44 years of the PGA Tour’s flagship tournament that some call “the fifth major”, nobody has ever reached the halfway point in fewer shots.
Jason Day also played the first 36 holes in 129 shots on his way to victory two years ago. But as impressive a performance as Simpson’s no doubt was, everybody here at a gobsmacked Stadium Course knew it could, and should, have been so much better.
When he tapped in for his par on the 18th, Simpson still could boast a share of history, joining the Sawgrass 63 club which also includes Fred Couples, Greg Norman and Day. It was the best score of the week by three and Simpson was not about to be morose, as he looked down the galring gap to Charl Schwartzel, Patrick Cantlay and Danny Lee in joint-second.
“It was a lot of fun. Everything was working today. When that long putt on the 15th went in, I just started leaving,” Simpson said. “On the 17th the wind seemed to be changing about and I took the wrong club, but honestly I felt pretty good over it. I tried to smash it and pushed it. It did feel bad walking off the green but I just had to remind myself about all the positives. I’ll have no problem blocking out what happened on the 17th.”
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Players Championship 2018, day three: Assured Webb Simpson takes seven-shot lead into final round have 3038 words, post on www.telegraph.co.uk at May 13, 2018. This is cached page on Talk Vietnam. If you want remove this page, please contact us.