Day holds firm at Players Championship
While a number of big names failed to make the cut at The Players Championship, Jason Day will take a four-shot lead into the final round.
World number one Jordan Spieth, Masters champion Danny Willett, Rickie Fowler, and Phil Mickelson are among those who saw their tournaments end after 36 holes, with many players completing their second rounds on Saturday morning after bad weather and seen play on Friday haltered.
Spieth finished the final four holes of his second round in level par to complete 36 holes in one under, missing the cut mark of two under. While Spieth struggled, his playing partner Day thrived early on, wrapping his round up to set a new tournament record for the lowest 36-hole score at 15 under.
However, while play at golf's fifth major had seemed rather easy over the first two rounds, TPC Sawgrass proved to be quite a different beast on Saturday afternoon.
Day hadn't registered a bogey heading into the third round, but some indifferent putting soon saw him notch up a bogey a the third after a three-putt, and then a double-bogey at the sixth after he required four putts at the par-four, which saw his lead cut to one stroke.
Another double at the eighth was sandwiched between two birdies, but the Australian was able to notch up a solid back nine that included birdies at the 11th and 16th for a round of 73 which moved him to 14 under.
While the remainder of the field struggled, Japan's Hideki Matsuyama (67) and Ken Duke (65) appeared to be playing on a different course, with the pair vaulting to ten under and a share of second with Alex Cejka (72).
Matsuyama began both the front and the back nine with three consecutive birdies to set the early clubhouse lead before he was joined by Duke who finished his round in quite remarkable fashion. After starting at the 10th, Duke was four under when he took the turn, but five consecutive birdies from the third, and another at the ninth saw him register a 65, the low round of the day.
Francesco Molinari (72) is alone in fifth on nine under, with Kevin Chappell and Retief Goosen next best on eight under.
Rory McIlroy was one of those to struggle on Saturday, the Ulsterman undoing the good work done by a second-round 65 as he completed the back nine in four-over-par 40, dropping five shots in six holes, in a round of 75 that saw him slip back to five under, nine shots off the pace.
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