Simpson extends lead at Players

A roller-coaster second round has shot Danny Lee up the leader-board at the Players Championship

A roller-coaster second round has shot Danny Lee up the leader-board at the Players Championship

Webb Simpson plays a shot from a bunker on the 18th hole during the third round of The Players Championship golf tournament at TPC Sawgrass - Stadium Course. "We're all nervous playing that hole, but an 11-under par round, that green I'm sure looks even smaller".

Woods, a two-time Players victor, started the day a whopping 14 shots back of overnight leader Webb Simpson (15 under). He will stride onto Dye's trouble-laden course Sunday with a seven-shot lead over Danny Lee. "It's rare as a golfer where everything comes together". He shot a 70 and will be in the final group.

It added to a 19-under 197, tying the 54-hole record set by Greg Norman on a soft course in March.

"It was a good solid round", Lee said.

"I was with her last week in Charlotte, so this would be an unbelievable Mother's Day present for her", he said. "It was a different feeling (from his round on Friday). Today was a little more survival feeling". "I missed a bunch of birdies but I come away pretty happy with the way I played". His shot from the back bunker on the par-5 11th raced across the green and into the hole for an eagle. "You don't really need to go into the 60s".

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That gauntlet now falls to the likes of Day, who was on the other side of one of those lopsided races in 2016 when he began the final round at TPC Sawgrass leading by four and cruised to a four-shot victory.

Jason Day, Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth are all hovering in the top 10, and Tiger Woods electrified the crowd with an early 65 to vault himself up the leaderboard.

Ian Poulter is the highest-placed Briton on five-under after shooting a 69, one shot ahead of world number five Justin Rose (72) and Tommy Fleetwood (71).

Rory McIlroy's challenge started with a middling one-under-par round of 71, his lowest opening score at Ponte Vedra Beach. It also marked his lowest score of the season, his best since a 65 at the 2015 Wyndham Championship and his lowest score to par since the 2013 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

"I finally got off to a good start in birdieing the first couple of holes and I just kept it rolling from here", he said. Feel like I'm putting well.

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"I felt like today was a good day overall but then I wasn't quite as sharp as I'd like to be", he said. "I was just trying to shoot something in the mid-60s today, and managed to do it".

Spieth did his damage on the back nine, playing it in 31 strokes, including birdies at the final three holes. He was 17-for-17 on putts from 10 feet or closer. Lee asked. Told that Simpson was 19 under, Lee digested that and responded, "That's an impressive three rounds, I think". "But when you are making half of them, like I was the first round, then it's a harder game". So I felt like I had the freedom in the stroke. A day after making double bogey to ruin his bid to break the course record, Simpson rapped in a 3-foot birdie putt.

BC-GLF-Players Notebook, 881 Spieth finishes with flurry, notches best round at PlayersAP Photo FLLS103, FLLS104, FLJR110, MH124Eds: With AP Photos.

But Day, who won last week's US PGA Tour event in North Carolina for a second title this year, says he isn't any less motivated as he eyes a return to the top of the rankings.

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