McDowell holds 54-hole lead at The Players


PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Graeme McDowell stepped to the 18th hole Sunday morning with a three-shot lead. He walked off only up by one.

After a bogey-free opening 17 holes in the continued third round of The Players Championship, McDowell’s approach into the par-4 closer from the right rough landed on the right side of the green, then bounded and rolled into the water hazard to the left.

“I executed the shot exactly the way I wanted to,” said McDowell, who despite the double-bogey still posted a 4-under 68.

The reigning U.S. Open champion will take a one-stroke lead over K.J. Choi and David Toms into the final round. Jason Dufner, Davis Love III, Aaron Baddeley, Luke Donald, Steve Stricker and Nick Watney are each three back.

Due to a lengthy weather delay on Saturday, the third round was completed on Sunday morning and the final round will feature threesomes playing off two tees, concluding with the group of McDowell, Choi and Toms at 1:42 p.m. ET.