Players Championship, Tiger Woods tee time: When golfers start on Saturday

by Leon Thompson May 13, 2018, 10:16
Players Championship, Tiger Woods tee time: When golfers start on Saturday

On the verge of shattering the course record Friday at the TPC Sawgrass - even a 59 was in play - Simpson hit a sand wedge shot into the water on the notorious par-three 17th and made a double bogey that ruined his round, but not his day at The Players Championship.

But the cut line was nowhere near Simpson's radar as he put together one of the finest rounds of his career, his charge up the leaderboard beginning with a 35-foot putt for eagle at the second, and he then picked up three shots in five holes to cap a faultless, outward 31.

The best scores in the third round came from Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth, who each carded 65s to climb from just off the cutline to into a tie for ninth at 208, 11 shots off Simpson's lead.

"If you're off a little bit, you make bogeys or double bogeys as easy as you can make birdies", Simpson said.

"It wasn't a mistake", Simpson said.

The resulting double-bogey left him needing to birdie the last for the outright scoring record, but he could manage only a par as his 63 gave him a five-shot cushion heading into the weekend.

Charl Schwartzel reacts to putt on the 14th green during the second round of The Players Championship golf tournament at TPC Sawgrass - Stadium Course.

It's only a wedge shot to a pretty large target in the calm conditions that prevailed on this occasion but the fact the green is surrounded completely by water plays terrible tricks with the mind. The victor receives a three-year exemption to the Masters, U.S. Open and British Open.

There is another Australian-held record Simpson can surpass on Sunday - Steve Elkington's seven-shot triumph in 1997 is the biggest victory margin at golf's unofficial fifth major. "And that's kind of where I'm at".

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"Just got to keep my hat down and play my own game", Lee said. "I don't know, where is he at?"

"But it doesn't surprise me at the same time because I feel like I've been confident, I've been working hard, and I'm really hungry".

I started very well with three birdies in the first four holes, although there was a bogey in there as well. Couples, Norman, Kaymer and Day went on to win the tournament. But they made up only three shots on Simpson and were 11 shots behind. They have no real chance at winning, but it will be fun to see some of the best in the game empty the tank trying to shoot a couple of rounds in the low 60s.

No player on the PGA Tour has lost a tournament when leading by seven going into the final round.

Simpson takes a comfortable lead into the final day, but as Woods, Spieth and Dufner showed, a lot can change over the course of 18 holes.

"At a certain point, maybe on [No.] 13 [where he made a 22-footer for birdie], like a kid you just start laughing", Simpson said.

Lee was at 204, a score that would have led The Players in all but three of the years since it moved to May in 2007.

Simpson was between a hard gap wedge and an easy pitching wedge, and after a long conversation with Tesori, chose 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.

It was at the 4th hole when it began to look like a really low one was possible.

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