Kirk holds lead ahead of Players final round

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Rookies performing well at the 'fifth Major' at TPC Sawgrass

30-year old Chris Kirk leads the Players Championship by one shot ahead of a chasing pack that includes Kevin Kisner, Sergio Garcia and Kevin Na.

25 players are within four shots of the lead, including Current World Number One Rory McIlroy: “It seems like half the tour has a chance to win this thing,” McIlroy said after a third round 70.

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“I think everyone sort of plays from the same positions, no style of game really has an advantage out here. So, yeah, it’s definitely to do with the golf course and the golf course setup that it is the way it is.”

“I rank this right along with WGC’s and obviously just below the Majors,” said McIlroy. “There’s four Majors, they’re the four biggest tournaments every year, and then there’s a quite a long list of important tournaments just below those. 

“And this is certainly one of them.”

Leader Kirk was surprised to be in such good shape despite sitting pretty at 10-under on the leaderboard: “It’s such a great feeling to be in contention on Sunday, and thankfully I’ve had a few so far, and hope to have a lot more,” said Kirk.

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“It’s been a little bit of a disappointing season for me, but I really have enjoyed playing the last month or so and have just kind of gotten back to working on the game.”

“I don’t really plan on looking at the leaderboard a whole lot at all tomorrow. I mean, I didn’t really today, and I haven’t at all this week.”

“You just put your head down and go get it.”

Kevin Na, the clubhouse leader after the second round, said: “I played well today. I hung in there. The good news is I’m only two back, so a low round tomorrow, post it early and sit in the clubhouse and watch.”

Na, who had contended three years ago at this tournament, said: “Well, if I was going to give myself a number, I think 67 will seal the deal and I think 68’s got a pretty darn good chance for a playoff (tomorrow).”

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Full leaderboard details can be found here.

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