Spieth ties Kaymer for lead on 18th hole


PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – For the third straight day, Martin Kaymer’s name remains atop the leaderboard at TPC Sawgrass, but now he has some company. Here’s how things look after three rounds of The Players Championship, where the German shares the lead with Jordan Spieth:

Leaderboard: Martin Kaymer (-12), Jordan Spieth (-12), Sergio Garcia (-9), John Senden (-9), Matt Jones (-8), George McNeill (-8), Gary Woodland (-8)

What it means: Spieth briefly caught Kaymer early in the afternoon, but trailed for much of the day and Kaymer led by two shots at the turn. Spieth trimmed the lead to a shot with a birdie on No. 11, though, and kept up his bogey-free streak with a lengthy par save on No. 18. When Kaymer was unable to convert his par putt on the final hole, the two completed play in a dead heat.

Round of the day: Francesco Molinari got things started quickly, with birdies on each of his first three holes. The Italian dropped a shot at No. 5 but added three more birdies on the back nine, carding a 5-under 67 to move into a tie for eighth, five shots off the pace with one round to go.

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Best of the rest: Brandt Snedeker made the cut on the number, then made a big move in the third round, equaling Molinari with a 5-under 67. The former FedEx Cup champ rattled off four birdies across a five-hole stretch from Nos. 5-9 and moved to 5 under overall, a jump of 51 spots in the standings.

Biggest disappointment: Russell Henley began the day alone in third place, but he nearly played his way into the group that missed the 54-hole cut. Henley made only one birdie while carding a disastrous 8-over 80, a score that dropped him all the way back to even par for the week and 13 shots off the pace.

Main storyline heading into Sunday: Spieth remains in the zone, and has now gone 54 holes at the Stadium Course without a bogey. He’ll be the player to watch as he and Kaymer again battle in the final pairing, with Spieth, 20, looking to become the youngest Players champion ever.

Shot of the day: Stewart Cink took dead aim at the par-4 seventh and found his target, holing his approach from 139 yards for an eagle. It was the second eagle at No. 7 in as many days and propelled Cink to a 2-under 70 that moved him into a tie for 12th.

Quote of the day: “It was difficult to play today. It felt a bit like a Ryder Cup match, but we didn’t play in Europe, obviously.” - Kaymer