Webb Simpson extends lead as Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth shoot 65

Tiger Woods TPC Sawgrass 18th hole

Webb Simpson put further daylight between himself and his rivals at the Players Championship on Saturday by carding a third-round 68 to open up a seven-stroke lead at TPC Sawgrass. Saturday's performance was the latest positive sign for 42-year-old Woods, a two-times victor of the Players Championship, who is trying to regain sharpness after last year's successful spinal fusion. The scale of reaction as Woods was in the middle of his charge only served to highlight once again what impact he has on a sport that not so long ago looked like it may have to resign itself to life without him.

Tiger Woods fired a 7-under-par 65 in the third round of the 2018 Players Championship, his lowest round ever at the tournament. He then hit two flawless shots and two-putted for birdie on the par-5 9 for a front-nine 30 that sent a palpable jolt through Sawgrass. Woods and Spieth are tied for ninth along with Tommy Fleetwood, Ian Poulter, Harold Varner III, Matt Kuchar and Patrick Cantlay.

World No. 62 Charl Schwartzel stumbled to a 1-over-par 37-36=73 in the third round of THE PLAYERS, dropping three spots into a five-way T4 on 9-under 207, a distant 10 in arrears of 54-hole leader and playing competitor Webb Simpson, who shot 68.

Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth will play together on Sunday for the first time ever when they tee off Sunday afternoon at The Players Championship.

"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. Eventually, I'll put all of the pieces together, and today for the most part I did that.

"I just never hit it close enough", Woods said. "I hit a lot of good, quality shots". I hit the ball much better during warm-up.

Tiger said after getting -8 through 12, he had an eye on getting to -10 for the day, which would have been a course record.

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Hughes, 27, said he grew up watching and idolizing Woods, and it was a thrill to be paired with him. "Absolutely... I'm going to go out with the utmost confidence tomorrow to try and get off to a good start and make some noise". Simpson's 63 was a course record.

"There was nothing really that stood out that I need to go work on. So it just shows you where it actually matters and that's on the greens".

"But it doesn't surprise me at the same time because I feel like I've been confident, I've been working hard, and I'm really hungry".

"When I missed a birdie chance I wasn't very disappointed", he said. "It was cool to get to know him a little bit". He birdied four of the first five holes, as well as at 7 and 9. Simpson, now holds the largest lead at seven in the history of the tournament.

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. "... These guys are going to tear this place apart".

"It's set up for these guys to go low".

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