The first page of the leaderboard at The Players Championship is loaded.
Simpson was between a hard gap wedge and an easy pitching wedge, and after a long conversation with Tesori, made a decision to go with the gap wedge, aiming for a spot 138 yards away, up the slope of the green, short of the back-center hole placement. No one has ever lost a seven-shot lead in the final round in PGA Tour history.
Simpson's third round was electric from the start.
"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.
On, No. 14, a 485-yards par 4, Woods had his first misstep of the day. "I'll have no problem blocking out what happened on the 17".
"If you're off a little bit, you make bogeys or double bogeys as easy as you can make birdies", Simpson said. Glover was two shot behind Simpson after the first round. It leads into the rest of the game. "We're all nervous playing that hole, but an 11-under par round, that green I'm sure looks even smaller". This is, after all, where Alex Cejka rode a five-stroke lead into the final round in 2009 only to leave town with a ninth-place check and an abundance of scar tissue. Danny Lee, a footnote at this point, is in second at 12 under. All in all, pretty satisfied.
He had struggled over those 18 holes, his 71 most notable for poor iron play. "He's beating the field by what, eight shots?" "All in all, you try and repeat how you're feeling [on all four days]".
A slight mis-hit and his tee shot to 17 stalled in the air, it just pitched on the front bank next to the bunker, but rolled back into the water. But Simpson is the -700 favorite.
At this pace, his next target will be the all-time tournament record of -24, set by Greg Norman in 1992. The course record? Simpson couldn't resist thinking about a 59.
This Saturday was always about Sunday. You have to think that, if given the option, you want the biggest lead you can have. The answers, respectively, are "massive" and "nobody".
And it will be there over the next two rounds. Fowler's ball landed in a palm tree and never came down, prompting a penalty stroke that sent him back to the tee box and left him flustered. Spieth three-putted from 35 feet, though he shot 68 and ended three straight years missing the cut. Unfortunately for him, Simpson looks like he's playing an entirely different event. He planned to return on Sunday, when perhaps people will take notice. "She doesn't miss many shots at all, if any". He had previously shot 66 (twice). "We were talking about it throughout the round, all three of us".
Tiger Woods retrieves his ball after his birdie on the fourth green.
He noted that the hole he dug himself gave him a chance to play loose.
I think this is the sort of round I can take a lot of confidence from going forward.
So Woods has some work to do to stick around Sunday.
Tiger Woods settled for a one-under par 71 and then endured an anxious afternoon wait before knowing he had made the cut on the number of one-under.
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