A 2008 Players Championship victor and frequent contender in the tournament, Garcia enters Sunday’s final round with new-found status to match his strong history at TPC Sawgrass.
“I’m not going to lie, I would have loved to have played better than I did the first two days”, García said, though he was still being acclaimed for a wonderful hole in one at the 17th, 24 hours earlier.
Korea’s Si Woo Kim is alone in fourth at seven under, while Spain’s reigning Masters champion and 2008 Players victor Garcia is lurking at five under. He said he was between a 9-iron and wedge, tried to hit wedge to the front of the green, and still finished long.
“The ban was subsequently rescinded when the World Anti-Doping Agency said they no longer considered use of the spray to be a doping violation without a positive test, but Singh filed a lawsuit in NY claiming the Tour’s actions left him “‘humiliated, ashamed, ridiculed, scorned and emotionally distraught”. Of the 82 players on the course, 49 had at least one double bogey.
Through it all, Hughes was rock solid.
The world number six bounced back from a bogey on the first with birdies on the fourth, sixth and ninth, while a bogey on the 10th was followed by a hat-trick of birdies from the 11th and an eagle on the par-five 16th. To chip out sideways would risk chipping into the water.
“I went with the “less-is-more” approach this year”. It was a large enough gap and the ideal shot for a 6-iron. I don’t care about any of that anymore, I just don’t. But for him to win the Masters and the Players in back-to-back events? They were at even par and not too bothered.
Fast starts and bad finishes were the norm, and not just for Scott.
Day, who won the Players by four shots previous year, lamented a bad break at the par-three 13th hole that resulted in a double-bogey five, cruelling his fight-back in the third round. Only one player has ever won The Players and The Masters in the same season – none other than Tiger Woods in 2001. It’s a great three finishing holes, and you need to be on your game.
“Around this golf course, with 16, 17 and 18, anything can happen”, said Louis Oosthuizen, who’s one shot back. That was Si Woo Kim, who didn’t make a bogey until the 16th hole and shot a 68 to get within two shots. He’ll start Sunday one shot behind Holmes Stanley.
Fowler managed to see the big picture.
Garcia’s round was different.
“The feeling was great”, he said. “I felt like there were a lot of thoughts going in my head, and the first day I was still thinking about the Masters and everything that has been going on”.
“So I maybe should have just taken it a bit easier over the weekend but I was excited to get back, excited to get ready to play again and so maybe just being a little overkeen was to my detriment”.
Johnson still has only two rounds in the 60s out of 27 attempts at the Stadium Course.
“Today I was able to free up a little bit and hit some really good shots so hopefully I will be able to do more of the same tomorrow”.
“So it’s a matter of getting away with somehow getting lucky when you do miss a shot”. Dustin Johnson shot 40 on the back nine, ejecting himself from the conversation altogether. “But I’m in a good spot for tomorrow, I’ll come out tomorrow and see if I can shoot a number”. He still has stressful shots to hit to complete his victory.