2016 Players Championship: Saturday Birdies & Bogeys

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2016 Players Championship: Saturday Birdies & Bogeys

May 14, 2016

Photo By: US PGA TOUR

Photo By: US PGA TOUR

Photo By: Getty Images

Photo By: Getty Images

Photo By: Getty Images

Photo By: Getty Images

Photo By: Getty Images

Photo By: Getty Images

Photo By: Getty Images

Birdie: Jason Day

It wasn’t the dominant play we saw from Day during the first two rounds, but perhaps his Saturday effort was his best of the week. Flummoxed by TPC Sawgrass' faster greens, the Aussie made two double bogeys in a three-hole span on the front nine -- needing to make sizable putts to avoid even worse. He bounced back, though, with birdies on the following holes both times and then chipped in for par on No. 15 to preserve a bogey-free back nine. Day may have only shot 73 but, more importantly, he maintained the four-shot lead he began the round with. And he's one round away from expanding his cushion in the Official World Golf Ranking as well. -- Alex Myers

Photo By: US PGA TOUR

Bogey: TPC Sawgrass

Literally and figuratively: Following two 63s and three 29s, the tour seemed adamant on preserving the integrity of the Players. To say they overcorrected is an understatement. The greens were shaved to a razor-thin cut, which combined with a multitude of pin locations only steps from the fringe, translated to a putting catastrophe reminiscent of last year's U.S. Open at Chambers Bay. The final damage: just a handful breaking par and a 149 three-putts. For an event named the Players, there was nothing player-friendly regarding the Saturday setup. -- Joel Beall

Photo By: US PGA TOUR

Birdie: Players Drama

Saturday's proceedings at TPC Sawgrass had viewers glued to the television. Granted, it was because they couldn't turn away from the unholy mess that was unfolding on the greens, but still. Jason Day seemed poised to make the weekend proceedings a foregone conclusion. Although the Aussie still leads, with a fiery course, the stage is set for must-see theater at Ponte Vedra Beach come Sunday afternoon. -- JB

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Birdie: Ken Duke

Those weren't boos emitting from your TV; it was the gallery swooning "DUUUUUUUKE." A fan favorite, Duke entered Saturday so far behind Jason Day that he teed off on the back nine. Yet it was Duke -- who was born in the SIXTIES -- that posted the round of the day with a seven-under 65, spurred by five consecutive birdies on his back side. Duke's best Players finish entering the week was a T-37. It's a safe bet he'll top that on Sunday. -- JB

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Bogey: Rory McIlroy

After a Friday 64 and an opening birdie on Saturday, McIlroy appeared to be the main threat to Jason Day. He turned in 35 to get to a back nine that he has absolutely owned for the past four years, but that’s where, surprisingly, he stumbled. McIlroy made four bogeys and a double over the first six holes to tumble down the leader board. He'll probably need another 64 -- or better -- if he's going to end his year-long winless drought on Sunday. -- AM

Bogey: Shane Lowry

With a World Golf Championship title from last year under his belt, Lowry began Saturday in the final pairing and eyeing a Players title to add to his resume. It didn’t take long for his tournament to unravel. Lowry started bogey-bogey-double bogey-bogey and shot 78 to drop from solo second to T-15. -- AM

Birdie: Kevin Chappell's Front Nine

While most of the field struggled with TPC Sawgrass' greens, Chappell was one of the few who made a charge with an opening 31. Paired with his record-tying back nine on Friday, that gave the UCLA product a stunning 60 over an 18-hole span. However, he couldn't keep it up. . .

Bogey: Kevin Chappell's Back Nine

It wasn’t all bad (a birdie on 12, an eagle on 16), but a 39 kept Chappell out of one of the final few pairings. The biggest blow came on No. 18 where he made a double bogey. Chappell has four PGA Tour runner-ups, including two already this season. And now he’s going to need two great nines on Sunday if he’s going to break through for a first victory. -- AM

Bogey: Sergio Garcia

Seemingly a perennial contender at TPC Sawgrass, Garcia was plodding along nicely once again until he got to the fifth hole. Then a solid lag putt from the fringe ran eight feet past the hole and things got crazy. Garcia needed five more putts to finish the hole, giving him a stunning quadruple bogey 8 and ending any hopes of winning this tournament for a second time. -- AM

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Birdie: Hideki Matsuyama

Matsuyama must not have received the memo. On a day when the scoring average was 75.59, the 24-year-old shot a five-under 67, vaulting up the leader board thanks to lights-out performances from his irons (16 greens hit) and short game (first in the field in strokes gained putting). Matsuyama has been on the big stage before, winning at Muirfield Village in 2014 and dispatching Rickie Fowler in a Phoenix playoff this winter. With four top-10s in majors and two Presidents Cup appearances on his resume, don't expect Matsuyama to fold under Sunday pressure. -- JB

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Bogey: Justin Rose

Rose's first-round 65 seems like it happened in a different event. After going south in Round 2 with a 74, the wheels completely fell of Rose's 2016 Players on Saturday. The 2013 U.S. Open winner opened his third round with three doubles on his front side, making the turn with a ghastly 42. Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised: In 12 previous appearances at TPC Sawgrass, Rose has managed just one top-10 performance. -- JB.

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Bogey: Russell Knox

Knox was in the thick of things on Saturday as he stepped onto the 17th tee box. The same could not be said when he reached 18. The Scotland native put three balls in the drink on Sawgrass' infamous hole, one of which came off a, well, let's just say it rhymes with "bank". The final damage for Knox was a 9 on the card, tying the fourth-highest score in the 17th hole's history. But, it should be noted, Knox handled the blow-up with aplomb, waving and playing to the crowd. -- JB

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Bogey: Will Wilcox

After being the toast of TPC Sawgrass on Friday – especially after stopping by the media center to share some beers – Wilcox’s Saturday was a total disaster. Playing the back nine first, Wilcox dunked his tee shot into the water on No. 17 after making the first hole-in-one there in 14 years the day before. And it only got worse. His 42 on the front nine gave him an 82. At least, Wilcox will leave this week knowing that ace will be showed on loop for as long as this tournament exists. -- AM

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