Simpson ties course record; Woods scrapes through

  • Simpson ties course record; Woods scrapes through

Simpson ties course record; Woods scrapes through

Dustin Johnson (-10) - Simpson probably would have been fine with Johnson hovering around 7 under, basically out of the tournament, but the world's top-ranked player birdied three of his last six holes to peak at Simpson entering the final round. He will stride onto Dye's trouble-laden course Sunday with a seven-shot lead over Danny Lee.

But his tee shot at the par-three 17th hit the wooden bulkhead surrounding the green, soaring high into the air before hitting the surface and rolling into the drink.

He bogeyed the par-3 eighth but promptly recovered that shot with a birdie at the par-5 ninth.

Hours after Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth charged up the leaderboard with morning 65s that moved them to eight-under, Simpson showed now sign of bowing to pressure from any quarter.

"Eighteen holes, I have a lot of work to do", said Simpson, who last won on Tour in 2014 and in eight starts at The Players has never finished better than 15th.

He ran off four birdies in five holes at the start of his round, made the turn in 30 and then added a two-putt birdie at No. 11 and a pitch to 8 feet on the short 12th. - Well Webb Simpson, it's up to you.

It sent Simpson to a remarkable 19-under par and then seven shots clear of his rivals.

Simpson struggled somewhat in playing the 14th through the 16th in one-over. "The South African carded three birdies at holes 4, 11 (from 14'0") and 18, outbalanced by four bogeys at 5, 8, 14 and 15 (3-putt from 36'0").

"I dropped a couple shots but overall, I felt like we had a great game plan and we stuck to it".

Simpson, whose unique putting action is described by his caddie as the (Matt) Kuchar-claw, has converted 39 of 41 putts from 10 feet and in, and punctuated his round with a17-footer for par at the last hole. "I think it was a good, solid day, but I'd like to clean up those mistakes and come out tomorrow with an even sharper round".

And with Mother's Day falling on the final day Simpson revealed he has an added extra incentive to win. You have to think that, if given the option, you want the biggest lead you can have. "She'll be glued", he said of his mother, Debbie.

BC-GLF-Players Notebook, 881 Spieth finishes with flurry, notches best round at PlayersAP Photo FLLS103, FLLS104, FLJR110, MH124Eds: With AP Photos. Also, I'm here for Poulter trying to burn Sawgrass to the ground on Sunday as he racks up more Ryder Cup, FedEx Cup and OWGR points and tries to snag that $1.2 million second place money.

"If you were to ask me, could somebody get to 19-under, I would have said that would be really tough, and the conditions have to be just right, " Simpson said.

Webb Simpson, in a familiar pose as he increased his lead in the Players Championship to seven on Saturday.

"I'm going to see where the pin locations are tonight I'll look at the PGA TOUR Link, get the locations, see what I can actually go at and what I can't go at, because there's some locations that you just can't physically get to because of how hard the greens are getting".

"With these greens as soft as they are, I didn't take advantage of the opportunities I had today to really shoot a good number". "I've just got to keep going and take my chances when I can". Fowler was in good shape until losing a ball in a tree on the sixth hole for the first of consecutive double bogeys.

Woods said he could not quite get it together on a day when birdies were there to be had. On 18, it was a bonus to make that putt.