Give And Take at THE PLAYERS


Heres what you need to know on the eve of the final round of THE PLAYERS which will conclude Sunday in Florida:
A self-described dirtbag named Paul Goydos has a one shot lead over Kenny Perry thanks mainly to a putter that has produced 31 1-putts in 54 holes.
Sergio Garcia is three back of Goydos. Defending champion Phil Mickelson is five back.
Saturday, the clich artists insist, is supposed to be moving day. But early on in this horse race Saturday (to torture another metaphor) there was just a lot of jockeying.
Second round leader Perry sauntered out of the gate with four pars, a birdie and a bogey to share the lead at 6-under with Garcia and Goydos. Perry turns 48 in August
The 43-year-old Goydos, who finds himself at No. 169 in the world rankings and hasnt finished better than 25th this year on TOUR, was alone at first at 7-under until he pulled a short putt on the seventh and left with a bogey.
Garcia owned the first day lead with a sizzling 66 and got his share of first place Saturday with a medium length birdie putt on the sixth hole.
Bernhard Langer, the 50-year-old German, birdied the first two holes to gain a share of the lead but driving problems led to bogeys on the fourth and sixth holes and dropped him back to 5-under.
Meanwhile Mickelson had crept to within two shots of the lead at 4-under. And long-hitting J.B. Holmes had muscled his way to 3-under through 13 holes on the strength of five straight birdies. Then he promptly bogeyed 14.
There was a mini-flurry of activity on the eighth when a two-shot swing occurred between Goydos and Garcia. Garcia bogey bounced back to 5-under and Goydos 5-foot birdie on this long par 3 put him back in first by himself again. Until the eighth, a steady Garcia had been the last player in the field without a bogey on the day.
A lot of insiders had targeted the twosome of Anthony Kim and Boo Weekley, playing together for the third straight day. But Kim bogeyed the first two and Weekley double-bogeyed the gettable par 5 second.
So, under relatively benign conditions, the leaders moved cautiously, in a pack, into the late afternoon. Like the Masters earlier this year there was little in the way of roars
This just in: Mickelson overcuts his drive on 14 and ends up wet. Double. Kim snakes home a birdie putt on No. 9 and he is back to 4-under.
Stay tuned.
Garcia rebounds with birdie on No. 9 and Goydos pushes a short par putt. The 2-shot swing they exchanged on No. 8 is reversed on No. 9..Langer bogeys No. 8 to fall back to minus-four.
The backing and forthing continues. No jockey going to the whip. Yet.

Hold on. Kim drills a birdie putt on 10, his second straight, and is now within one of the lead shared by Perry, Goydos and Garcia.
Ho-hum. Goydos birdies the 10th. Back on top at 7-under.
Kim bogeys 11 and has to take unplayable after a bad drive on 12 for another bogey. And then bogeys 13. Oops. Five back now. He would limp in with a 79.
Sergio birdies 11. Tied for lead.
Perry bogeys 10. Two back.
(Anybody ever heard of a thing called par?)
Tug of war, says Mark Rolfing on NBC.
And this went on and on and on until Goydos late heroics and Garcias bogeying four of his last six holes.
You gotta realize the course is playing tough, Garcia said afterward, trying his best to dodge questions about his 3-putt from short range on the 17th where he bogeyed.
I was a little brain dead, Garcia was coaxed to admit about the 17th.
And when Perry drained a medium length putt for par on the final hole he was in Sundays last group with Goydos. The jockeying was over for now. Moving day had ended.

Email your thoughts to Brian Hewitt
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - THE PLAYERS Championship