PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – The richest prize in golf will be handed out Sunday, when the winner of The Players Championship receives a check for $1.8 million. Here’s what You Oughta Know heading into the final round at TPC Sawgrass, where Jordan Spieth and Martin Kaymer share the lead:
• Spieth continues to defy expectations and is again in a position to do so on the Stadium Course. At 20 years, 9 months and 14 days old, he would become the youngest winner in the history of the event, breaking the mark Adam Scott set in 2004 when he won at 23 years, 8 months and 12 days old.
• Spieth has made it three times around at TPC Sawgrass without a bogey. Every other player in the field has made at least four, and Spieth’s bogey-free streak extends back to the final round of the RBC Heritage, a stretch of 69 holes.
• A winner last year at the John Deere Classic, Spieth could become the youngest two-time winner on Tour since Ralph Guldahl, who in 1932 won the Arizona Open for his second title at 20 years, 2 months and 9 days old.
• Should Spieth win, it would be the first time since 1998-2000 (Justin Leonard, David Duval, Hal Sutton) that Americans won three straight times at TPC Sawgrass. Tiger Woods won last year, following Matt Kuchar in 2012. Other Americans in contention through 54 holes include George McNeill and Gary Woodland, who are tied for fifth.
• Kaymer holds a share of a PGA Tour 54-hole lead for the first time. He is in search of his first win on U.S. soil since winning the 2010 PGA Championship in a playoff over Bubba Watson.
• Kaymer’s short game has shown up in a big way. The German entered the week ranked 192nd on the PGA Tour in scrambling, but this week is fourth in the field, having converted 10 of 13 up-and-down opportunities.
• 2008 Players champ Sergio Garcia will begin the final round tied for third, three shots behind Spieth and Kaymer. He also tied for eighth last year and is in search of his fifth top-10 finish in 15 career starts at TPC Sawgrass.
• It’s been a tale of two nines for Rory McIlroy. The Ulsterman is 9 over on the front nine and ranks 82nd in the field in scoring on that side, but he leads the field at 12 under on the back nine, including 7 under on Holes 16-18.
• Only one player found the water at the par-3 17th Saturday – Angel Cabrera. That’s a new low for water balls on the island-green hole, breaking the previous mark set in 2003 when only three players found the water during the third round