Wednesday, 18 July, 2018

Tiger Woods surges up Players leaderboard

Webb Simpson kisses the The Players Championship trophy Sunday Webb Simpson kisses the The Players Championship trophy Sunday
Chelsea Rogers | 13 May, 2018, 00:57

Rory McIlroy's challenge started with a middling one-under-par round of 71, his lowest opening score at Ponte Vedra Beach.

By lunchtime, Woods had stormed into the top 10, drawing Sunday crowds and roars on his way to a 7-under par 65 - his career-best score at TPC Sawgrass during 64 rounds and best score to par since August 2013.

Simpson, who has not tasted Tour success since capturing a fourth title in late 2014, will not want reminding that in the four times he's made the Players cut he has never bettered a third-round 74.

A nine-under 63 saw Simpson create the biggest halfway lead in the tournament's history and put the American on course for his first PGA Tour win in five years.

"It's just a matter of playing and executing and putting the shots together", he said. It was nice to see a few putts go in.

Israeli troops shoot dead Palestinian, 146 hurt
The Gaza leader of the Hamas militant group has suggested tens of thousands of Palestinians could storm into Israel on Monday. A USA official on the call on Friday declined to call the West Bank an occupied territory.

The 65 for Spieth is his lowest round ever at TPC Sawgrass and just the second time he's cracked 70 since the second round in 2014 when he shot 66 and almost went on to win the tournament (he shot 68 in Round 2 this year). Through Friday at Sawgrass, he had an eagle and just four birdies. They are followed at 8:27 a.m.by the grouping of Phil Mickelson, victor in 2007, 2015 champion Rickie Fowler, and two-time victor Tiger Woods.

Mickelson wore a long-sleeved shirt with buttons - not much different from the shirt that drew plenty of attention during his practice round with Tiger Woods on the day before the Masters - and was going along fine until a 41 on the back nine.

Another opportunity passed at the par-5 16th, where Woods had just 225 yards to the pin but was between clubs and ended up hooking a 4-iron short in a bunker. He managed to get on the green from there, but missed an 8-footer for par. But when you're on, sometimes the course throws you a bone, and his Bridgestone ball took a nice kick right and finished about nine feet from the cup.

Hughes, 27, said he grew up watching and idolizing Woods, and it was a thrill to be paired with him.

"I'm sure the golf course will play a good amount faster tomorrow", Simpson said. "But I can assure you, for me it was goosebumps and shivers out there hearing all the noise and playing with him". The other was the third round in 2001, when Woods holed a birdie putt from one end of the island green to the other on the par-3 17th and wound up winning the next day. "I think that's what Pete Dye does so well". 10 to 15 feet today, and anywhere inside, which was probably the first time this year that's been the case, " Spieth said. I think that some of the guys will probably shoot better scores than I did out there today. It leads into the rest of the game. "I did not hit the shot the way I wanted to, but I didn't feel like I hit it bad enough for it not to get to the front of the green or maybe even five steps on the front. You have to just take what it gives you, and take you medicine when you get out of position".

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