Swedish rookie leads delayed Players; Woods 2 back


PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – After two days of sunny skies, conditions turned rainy and windy at TPC Sawgrass during Saturday’s third round. Here’s the skinny heading into the final day at The Players Championship, where several groups will head back to the course early Sunday to complete the third round:

The leaderboard: David Lingmerth (-12, on 18), Tiger Woods (-10, on 15), Sergio Garcia (-10, on 15), Henrik Stenson (-10, on 17), Jeff Maggert (-9, finished), Casey Wittenberg (-9, on 18)

What it means: After play was suspended for almost two hours Saturday afternoon due to storms, the leaders were left in the 15th fairway when the horn blew a second time for darkness. Neither Woods nor Garcia, the overnight leader, were able to get things going Saturday, and as a result they’ve both been caught by two members of the chase pack.

Round of the day: At a spry 49 years of age, Maggert is among the oldest players in the field this week at TPC Sawgrass. While many struggled with the firm and fast conditions early Saturday, Maggert made quick work of the Stadium Course. He began with birdies on holes two and three, adding four birdies in a five-hole stretch from Nos. 6-10. It all added up to a 6-under 66, the lowest round of the day and one that put the veteran onto the first page of the leaderboard at night’s end.

Best of the rest: Former British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen made the cut on the number Friday and began his third round in rather unremarkable fashion. Playing in the second group of the morning, he was 1 over standing on the ninth tee when the South African began a run of six birdies in a row to surge up the leaderboard. The streak tied the longest birdie run in Players Championship history, and Oosthuizen moved inside the top 20 after posting a 5-under 67.

Biggest disappointment: Beginning the day inside the top 10, Adam Scott appeared to show no signs of rust in his first start since winning the Masters. Things went awry Saturday, though, as the Aussie struggled to a 3-over 75. After two rounds of pristine ball-striking, Scott was unable to notch a birdie until the 10th hole of the day, and after making a late birdie on No. 16 promptly air-mailed the island green at the 17th, resulting in a double bogey that largely encapsulated his day.

Main storyline heading into Sunday: While much of the attention is on Woods and Garcia – not to mention their budding war of words – a pair of Swedes have quietly crept up the leaderboard. Lingmerth will have plenty to sleep on tonight, as he has distanced himself by two shots despite missing eight of his last 10 cuts entering this week. He may find himself in the final pairing Sunday with fellow Swede Stenson, who appears eager to contend for a second Players title after hoisting the crystal in 2009.

Shot of the day: The pin today at the par-3 13th was placed at the bottom of a small swail, accessible for players that used the green’s contour to their advantage. No one did so Saturday better than Chris Stroud, who landed his 6-iron from 186 yards right at the top of the mound. The ball trickled some 30 feet down the hill before dropping for an ace, which helped Stroud to a 3-under 69 in the third round.

Quote of the day: 'Not real surprising he’s complaining about something.” – Woods about Garcia, as the two offered rather testy responses about the other, stemming from an incident on the second hole Saturday where fans cheered in the middle of Garcia’s backswing.