Spieth joins Kaymer in lead at Players
Ponte Vedra Beach, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Jordan Spieth managed a 1-under 71 on Saturday, enough to gain a piece of the lead after three rounds of the Players Championship.
Spieth, who ended 54 holes at 12-under-par 204, was able to gain a share of the lead when Martin Kaymer bogeyed the 18th on Saturday. Kaymer shot even-par 72 in round three.
Sergio Garcia, the 2008 winner, shot 3-under 69 and moved into a tie for third at minus-9. He was joined there by John Senden, who shot 68 on Saturday.
Matt Jones and George McNeill both carded 3-under 69s in round three on the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass, and they share fifth with Gary Woodland (70).
Francesco Molinari matched the low round of the day with his 5-under 67. He was joined in eighth place at 7-under-par 209 by David Hearn (68) and Lee Westwood (71).
Spieth played the front nine in even-par with nine consecutive pars. He only had three birdie chances inside 20 feet on the opening nine.
Kaymer opened with three pars in a row, then he 3-putted for bogey on the par-4 fourth to drop into a share of the lead with Spieth at minus-11. He atoned for that mistake with a 9-foot birdie putt on No. 6 to regain the lead.
The 2010 PGA champion got up and down for birdie from over the ninth green to push his lead to two strokes heading to the back nine.
Kaymer had a back nine similar to Spieth's front nine. He parred the first eight holes of the inward nine, including a 3-putt par on the par-5 11th.
Spieth finally got on the board with a 4-foot birdie putt on the 11th that got him within one of Kaymer. His birdie chip on the 13th rattled off the flagstick and stopped two feet from the hole. Spieth, who has played all 54 holes bogey-free, kicked that in for par as he closed with seven straight pars.
"I was all over the place and really got a lot of good breaks today. And in order to win the golf tournament tomorrow, I'm going to have to drive the ball a lot better and give myself more looks at birdie," said Spieth in a televised interview. "Today, I really got the breaks and got the bounces and made the 3- and 4-footers to stay alive. I'm not going to be able keep doing that, so I'll get on the range tomorrow and get a good feeling for the day."
Kaymer's run of eight straight pars ended with a bogey at the last. He chipped to nine feet and missed the par putt to dip into a share of the lead.
"It was very tricky today, therefore, you didn't have as many birdie chances as the first two days. It played tough today," Kaymer stated. Even when you hit fairways, it was gusty and therefore a little bit difficult to attack the flags. Fortunately, I made a couple of good up and downs. (Jordan and I) didn't play great, but we kept it very well together."
Despite some gusty winds, there was just one golf ball that went into the water on the island green at the par-3 17th. That was a record low number since 2003.
NOTES: Spieth has a piece of the 54-hole lead for the third time in his brief PGA Tour career. He finished second the other two times he was in that position ... Kaymer, whose only PGA Tour win was the 2010 PGA Championship, has a share of the 54-hole lead for the first time on the PGA Tour ... Spieth is bogey-free through three rounds, while every other player in the field has at least four ... Justin Rose was assessed a 2-stroke penalty on the 18th, as his ball moved when he addressed a chip shot and he did not replace it ... Jeff Overton took a quintuple-bogey 10 on the par-5 11th, which was the all- time high score on that hole ... There was a secondary cut after round three that trimmed the field to 71 players. Among those that won't play the final round are Ernie Els, Stuart Appleby, Rickie Fowler and Overton.
05/10 20:29:57 ET