Today at the Players: Holmes, Stanley share Sawgrass lead
Who doesn’t like the Players Championship? That course! That island green! It should be the fifth major! Well, no, it shouldn’t – but it’s still a great tournament and one we all look forward to here at NCG Towers.
Joe Urquhart, James Savage and Steve Carroll round-up the best of day three at TPC Sawgrass…
So what happened?
It was moving day at TPC Sawgrass on Saturday but the leading pack struggled to separate themselves.
Masters champion Sergio Garcia earlier made his charge carding a 67 to leave himself just four off the lead.
Later in the afternoon the winds picked up at Ponte Vedra beach as overnight co-leaders Kyle Stanley and Louis Oosthuizen battled hard to stay in contention.
After a tough start Stanley recovered to grab a share of the clubhouse lead at 9-under with the South African just one back (73).
Elsewhere Vijay Singh, who was a surprise contender, saw his chances fall away with a 79 which included two balls finding the water on the iconic 17th island hole.
His playing partner, J.B. Holmes (70), somehow kept his cool to find himself in the final group on Sunday following a number of fantastic recovery shots as his tee box struggles continued.
Si Woo Kim fired his way into contention with a 68 to leave himself 7-under for the tournament, while early finisher Emiliano Grillo and bogey-free Ian Poulter remain in the hunt at 6-under.
Alex Noren and Patrick Cantlay sit 5-under and will need to produce something special on Sunday to stand a chance.
A good day for…
Maybe not the best, but after Patrick Cantlay’s struggles off the course it was great for golf fans to see him back to his best.
The young American sits at 5-under just four shots off the lead with a real chance at a fairy tale ending to a troubled few years.
A bad day for…
Spaniard Jon Rahm headed into the day as the bookies favourite at Sawgrass but after an opening nine of 42 the 22-year-old saw his hopes disappear.
Rahm ended the day 6-over for the tournament carding an 82.
Jon Rahm first 2 days: 4 under. Jon Rahm today: 82. G*lf, man.
— Brian Wacker (@brianwacker1) May 13, 2017
Shot of the day
Need we same more… wow!
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) May 13, 2017
Stat of the day
Look away now, Jon.
Dye's revenge: Jon Rahm had never shot 40 or worse on 9 holes in his PGA Tour career entering day. He did it on both 9s in round 3.
— Justin Ray (@JustinRayGolf) May 13, 2017
Away from the Players Thomas Pieters appears to be getting some practise in…
— Thomas Pieters (@Thomas_Pieters) May 13, 2017
Back at Sawgrass – Rory reveals he has marriage problems just two weeks in…
Rory now sleeping on his right side at night. Had to explain to Erica that it's to protect the back, not a sign of marital issues 2 wks in.
— Will Gray (@WillGrayGC) May 13, 2017
You may have seen Rickie lost his ball… but one lucky kid climbed up there to claim his souvenir…
Unique souvenir for one kid today. pic.twitter.com/XnqiXOZ922
— THE PLAYERS (@THEPLAYERSChamp) May 13, 2017
You have to feel for Ben Crane… who went in the water not once, but twice at the 17th!
— GOLF.com (@GOLF_com) May 13, 2017
Billy Horschel decided to launch his putter at his caddie. (oh dear!)
Billy Horschel, once a gator always a gator pic.twitter.com/vwhx5fCh4U
— Brad Reynolds (@Brad_Reynoldss) May 12, 2017
All the Gear
Standing on the 17th tee on Thursday, Sergio Garcia was three-over-par. Since then, he’s negotiated Sawgrass in eight under.
The Spaniard is only four off the lead so is the 17/2 on the Masters champion a touch on the generous side?
We can still get each way terms for the first four finishers and this feels like bet to nothing for me following his third round exploits.
Elsewhere, with the claims of the leading lights obvious, Ian Poulter catches the eye each way at 20/1.
Fortunate to still have his tour card, he has the chance to really make the most of his luck tomorrow with a strong finish.
Not much dropped for him on moving day but his overall game was extremely solid and another day with no bogeys could bag him a top four berth.
You can also get 14/1 on Si Woo Kim and lots of that will be down to a campaign that’s brought seven missed cuts and four withdrawals.
But the 21-year-old is well in the hunt and has won the Wyndham Championship on the PGA Tour.
He’ll not be without hope if the leaders struggle on Sunday.