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Simpson leads Players Championship by seven

By Nick MentaMay 12, 2018, 11:00 pm

Following a third-round 68, Webb Simpson will take a seven-shot lead into the final round of The Players Championship. Here’s where things stand through 54 holes at TPC Sawgrass.

Leaderboard: Simpson (-19), Danny Lee (-12), Dustin Johnson (-10), Jason Dufner (-9), Jimmy Walker (-9), Xander Schauffele (-9), Jason Day (-9), Charl Schwartzel (-9)

What it means: Simpson is 18 holes from his fifth PGA Tour victory and his first in five years, since the 2013 Shriners. Up five to start the day, Simpson stretched his lead to eight when he eagled the par-5 11th. At 19 under par, Simpson ties Greg Norman for the tournament's 54-hole scoring record. His seven-shot lead is the largest 54-hole margin in the event's history. With a win tomorrow, the 2012 U.S. Open champion would join an impressive list of players who have won both the U.S. Open and The Players, one that currently consists of Tiger Woods, Martin Kaymer, Lee Janzen, Tom Kite, Ray Floyd, Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino and Jerry Pate. Simpson would also lock up PGA Tour membership for the next five years and earn three-year exemptions into all four majors. And, of course, he’d work his way into consideration for a third Ryder Cup appearance.

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Round of the day: Jordan Spieth and Tiger Woods both shot 7-under 65. Spieth was 17 for 17 on putts inside 10 feet, and Woods was 8 under through his first 12 holes. Both players will start Sunday tied for ninth at 8 under par, 11 back.

Best of the rest: Dufner made five birdies on the back to shoot 6-under 66, tying his lowest career round at The Players. He’ll start Sunday T-4 at minus-9.

Biggest disappointment: That no one is within seven of the lead. No offense to Webb.

Shot of the day: Simpson’s hole-out from the bunker for an eagle-3 at the par-5 11th:

Quote of the day: “Eventually I was going to put all the pieces together. Today, for the most part, I did that.” -- Woods

Storyline to watch Sunday: Will Simpson collapse, or will he break the 72-hole scoring record held by Norman at 24 under?

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Key stats: Woods 42 for 44 with 54-hole lead

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 22, 2018, 10:53 pm

Tiger Woods shot a 5-under 65 Saturday, and he will take a three-stroke lead into the final round at the Tour Championship as he looks for win No. 80. Here are the key stats for Woods' round.

• 12 under par; 65 in third round; lowest round by anyone in field on Saturday

• Birdied six of first seven holes (including five in a row on Nos. 3-7)

• Longest birdie streak since 2012 at TPC Boston (six in first round)

• 45th career outright 54-hole lead on PGA Tour (won 42 of previous 44)

• 95.5 win percentage with outright 54-hole lead (PGA Tour since 2013: 42 percent)

• Previous 54-hole lead/co-lead – 2013 WGC-Bridgestone (his last win)

• 23-for-23 converting 54-hole leads of three shots of more on PGA Tour

• 42 years old; Sam Snead was 47 when he won his 80th PGA Tour title

• Sunday is 1,876 days since last win (2013 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational)

• Two-time winner of Tour Championship (1999 in Houston, 2007 at East Lake)

• Trying to become first player to win Tour Championship three or more times

• Projected to move to 13th in World Ranking with win (most likely position)

• Seeking 13th PGA Tour win holding lead/co-lead in all four rounds

• Last PGA Tour win with lead/co-lead all four rounds – 2013 at Doral

• Leads field in strokes gained: putting through three rounds

• Won each of last three instances leading field for week in strokes gained: putting

• Leads field in scrambling through three rounds (14-for-18)

• Third in field in strokes gained: tee to green through three rounds

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Woods leads by three; McIlroy in final group

By Doug FergusonSeptember 22, 2018, 10:41 pm

ATLANTA – Tiger Woods is three shots ahead and one round away from capping his comeback season with a victory.

Woods played the most dynamic golf he has all year with six birdies in his opening seven holes, building as much as a five-shot lead before he cooled off for a 5-under 65 and a three-shot lead over Rory McIlroy in the Tour Championship.

He has the 54-hole lead for the first time since his last victory in 2013 at the Bridgestone Invitational. He has never lost an official tournament when leading by more than two shots.

Woods has never been in better position to show he's all the way back.

It will be the first time Woods and McIlroy (66) play in the final group Sunday on the PGA Tour.

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Tiger Tracker: Tour Championship

By Tiger TrackerSeptember 22, 2018, 10:25 pm

Tiger Woods fired a 5-under 65 on Saturday to build a three-stroke lead over Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy at the Tour Championship. We tracked him.

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Highlights: Tiger fires 65, takes 3-shot lead at East Lake

By Nick MentaSeptember 22, 2018, 10:25 pm

Following a Saturday 65 at East Lake, Tiger Woods will take a three-shot lead over Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose into the final round of the Tour Championship.

Woods, 12 under for the week, will be paired with McIlroy in the final round on Sunday, as he hunts his 80th PGA Tour victory and his first win in five years.

The 14-time major winner ran away from the field early, making birdie on six of his first seven holes to go ahead by as many as five.

Woods immediately claimed the outright lead with a birdie at No. 1, whipping the Atlanta crowd into an early frenzy.

Following a 4-foot par save at the second, Woods moved ahead by two and reached 9 under par when he played this approach from 144 yards and sank this 8-footer for birdie at the third.

One hole later, Woods reached double digits at 10 under par when he poured in a bending 21-footer that just crept over the lip.

He made it four birdies in his first five holes when he bombed a 320-yard drive, wedged to 7 feet, and converted again.

He looked in danger of not capitalizing on his first crack at a par-5 after he came out of a fairway wood on his second shot, but a splash from the bunker and a make from 6 feet gave him his fifth circle in six holes.

He went Vintage Tiger at the seventh, playing this fairway bunker shot from 172 yards to 5 feet, setting up his sixth birdie in his first seven holes and advancing him to 13 under, five clear.

Looking to make the turn in 29, Woods instead missed the green at the par-3 ninth, failed to get up and down for par, and had to settle for 5-under 30.

Following pars at 10 and 11, he started looking this approach up and down at the 12th, leading to his seventh birdie of the day.

Woods saw his lead decrease from five to three when he bogeyed the par-4 16th and Rose birdied. Woods missed the fairway and green and then failed to pull off an aggressive flop shot up a steep slope.

Woods looked in position to pick up one more stroke at the par-5 18th, but proved unable to get up and down for birdie from the back bunker. Instead, he wrapped up a closing par and back-nine 35.