Saturday's Birdies and Bogeys
May 09, 2014
Birdie: Martin Kaymer & Jordan Spieth
The duo in the final pairing Saturday was the story of the afternoon, and despite some movement down below them, their duel will continue to be the dominant narrative come Sunday. Kaymer led Spieth by one stroke after 36 holes and would have maintained that margin had he not missed a 10-foot par putt on 18 to finish with an even-par 72. By contrast, Spieth holed a 13-foot par putt on the last to finish bogey-free through 54 holes and, along with Kaymer at 12-under overall, sit three strokes clear of the field with 18 holes to play.--Luke Kerr-DineenTwitter: @LukeKerrDineen
Bogey: Russell Henley
Inconsistency has been Henley's bug-a-boo during the 2013-14 season; while winning at the Honda Classic in March, the second-year tour pro has just one other top-30 finish in 15 additional starts and has missed seven cuts. Saturday at Sawgrass then wasn't that surprising. Entering the round in third place at eight under, the 25-year-old made seven bogeys and a double bogey en route to an 80. By nightfall, Henley had dropped almost 50 spots down the leader board.--Ryan HerringtonTwitter: @GWcampusinsider
Birdie: Sergio Garcia
A Saturday 69 has the Spaniard in contention at TPC Sawgrass yet again. After missing a three-footer on No. 17, Garcia bounced back to hole a six-foot par putt on No. 18, prompting a big fist pump and putting him in the second-to-last group with John Senden. "I think it was a big moment," he said afterward. "Dinner would have tasted quite horrible." A year after collapsing over the final two holes of this event, Garcia is hungry for a second Players title to go with his 2008 victory. The goal now is to make sure his post-round meal on Sunday tastes even better.--Alex MyersTwitter: @AlexMyers3
Birdie: Early birds
Brandt Snedeker, Ryan Moore and Francesco Molinari all shot 67s, the day's lowest score, while each having some of Saturday's earliest tee times. All three teed off before 11:30 (Snedeker, left, and Moore before 9 a.m.). Between them they had 18 birdies and just three bogeys. The easier, early conditions helped vault all three into the top 15. -- L.K.D.
Bogey: Jeff Overton
Just like Martin Kaymer did with his 63 on Thursday, Overton made history at the 2014 Players -- just not in the way he hoped. Overton recorded the highest score ever on the 11th hole at TPC Sawgrass after hitting two balls in the water then three-putting for a quintuple-bogey 10. He "recovered" by playing his next seven holes in six over, shooting 46 on his back nine for a (gulp) 83. -- L.K.D.
Birdie: Lee Westwood
Saturday at the Players has rarely been a pleasant afternoon for the 41-year-old Englishman. Despite making the cut eight times in 11 previous trips to TPC Sawgrass, Westwood had an unsightly 73.25 third-round scoring average to show for it. A one-under 71, just the second time he has broke par in Round 3 of the Players, then sets Westwood up for a potential final-round charge. More importantly it leaves him with positive thoughts entering Sunday at Sawgrass for the first time possible ever. -- R.H.
Bogey: Kevin Na
Na was T-11 when he teed off Saturday and was trying to work his way into the top 10. He played his first six holes rather uneventfully -- in even par -- then things took a turn for the worst. A bogey, bogey, birdie, birdie, double bogey, triple bogey exchange dropped him completely out of contention en-route to a 76. His near hole-in-one on 17 resulted in a birdie, but it was too little, too late. -- L.K.D.
Birdie: Back-nine Rory McIlroy
For a third consecutive day, McIlroy tore up the back nine at TPC Sawgrass. His Saturday 31 wasn't enough to bring him back into contention, but it certainly salvaged his third round, as he finished with a three-under 69. The day before, McIlroy closed with a 32 to make the cut on the number and on Thursday, he began the tournament by opening with a 33 on that side. Incredibly, McIlroy has birdied No. 18 -- usually the course's most-difficult hole -- three straight days. How then is he only T-28 heading into Sunday? Well . . . -- A.M.
Bogey: Front-nine Rory McIlroy
While McIlroy has averaged 32 on the back nine at TPC Sawgrass, he's averaged 39 on the front. A day after a disastrous 42 dropped him off the leader board, he started four over on the course's first six holes to fall even farther back. In total, he has 11 holes of bogey or worse on the front side for three days, but just one on the back nine. Inconsistent play has plagued McIlroy throughout his young career. At least, this week, that inconsistency was somewhat consistent. -- A.M.
Birdie: Elin Nordegen
We didn't expect any Tiger Woods-related news this week with the World No. 1 out recovering from back surgery, but we got some Saturday. Sort of. Woods' ex-wife graduated from her psychology program at Rollins College with a 3.96 GPA, earning the school's Oustanding Graduating Senior Award. Winning her program's equivalent of valedictorian, Nordegren also delivered a commencement speech on Saturday. Good for you, Elin. Surely you're having a better year than your former husband. -- A.M.