Simpson extends his lead to seven-shots over Danny Lee
Simpson extends his five-shots lead to a seven-shot lead with a four-under 68 on Saturday at the TPC Sawgrass, the third day of THE PLAYERS Championship. His total now stands tall at 19-under 197.
Simpson’s 68 consisted of an eagle on the par-5 11th, aided with four birdies, and two bogeys, in his otherwise excellent round. As said earlier, in the history of THE PLAYERS only three players have managed to enter the weekends with a lead of more than three-strokes and all three have won.
Following him by seven-shots is Danny Lee who shot 2-under-70 for the day and stands at a total score of 12-under-204, two shots better than the World No.1 Dustin Johnson, who co-led the field in the opening round.
“I feel like I’m playing good, solid golf, but … I’ve holed out a few times from off the green and made some long putts,” Simpson said. “To get that score, you have to do that.”
Simpson now leads the field in Strokes Gained: Around the Green (+5,37) and Strokes Gained: Putting (+9.77). His third shot on the par-5 11th from 33-yards got holed in for an eagle, his second for the week. He has also made 20 birdies.
Nobody in the history has lost a seven-shot lead in the final round, while seven players have lost six-shot leads. Johnson did it recently at the World Golf Championships – HSBC Champions.
Tiger Woods makes the move
Tiger Woods finished 72 for Day 1, 71 on Day 2, but had a different preparation coming into the third round and was fired up until the last hole.
Woods remained bogey-free until the 14th hole (his only bogey) and posted eight birdies in his round, six of them came on the first nine holes. The #GOAT is officially back.
Woods hit 15 greens in regulation and gained 2.3 strokes with his approach play, a better iron play is a major reason that he was able to do that.
“I felt I had better control of hitting it right-to-left and left-to-right,” said Woods, who’s playing his first PLAYERS since 2015. “I was able to shape the golf ball both ways and started to control it a little bit better today.”
Woods now stands T-9th with Jordan Spieth, who started his round 40-minutes ahead of Woods. Spieth too had a seven-under-65 round on Saturday matching his total to 8-under-208 with Woods, Tommy Fleetwood, Ian Poulter, Harold Varner III, Matt Kuchar, and Patrick Cantlay.
The defending champion Si Woo Kim stands T-55th at 3-under-216.