13 May, 2018
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla.
World No. 186 Danny Lee smoothed a bogey-free, 2-under-par 36-34=70 in the third round of THE PLAYERS to post 12-under 204, solo 2nd on the leaderboard and seven in arrears of 54-hole leader Webb Simpson, who he'll be paired with in the final twosome in Round 4 (scheduled out at 2:45 PM local time).
Woods shot a 7-under 65 in the third round Saturday, besting his previous low score on the Stadium Course by a stroke.
"I think nobody does kind of slightly overweight, middle-aged guy better than me, and this says exactly who I am", Mickelson said after his round of 79, still in good spirits despite his worst score at The Players since an 83 in the opening round in 2000.
Woods had only beaten the cut by one shot on Friday evening after posting a second-round 71m, before the American, who was eight under par through 12 holes, was back to his best on Saturday as he rose from tied 68th into the top 10.
Former world number one and 2016 victor Jason Day recorded a five-under-par 67 to be seven shots adrift of Simpson.
"I just never hit it close enough", he said. He was in third place, nine shots behind and figured all he could do Sunday was go as low as he could and see where it led.
"Overall, the whole day had a lot of quality shots - 65 was probably as high as I could have shot, which is nice".
The 42-year-old Woods then jagged birdies at the 11th and 12th, but his charge ended with a bogey at the 14th.
After making the cut with nothing to spare on Friday, Woods teed off trailing halfway leader Webb Simpson by 14 strokes on another flawless morning.
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That gauntlet now falls to the likes of Day, who was on the other side of one of those lopsided races in 2016 when he began the final round at TPC Sawgrass leading by four and cruised to a four-shot victory.
Woods carded a 30 on the front nine, with birdies on four of his first five holes. He then hit two ideal shots and two-putted for birdie on the par-5 9 for a front-nine 30 that sent a palpable jolt through Sawgrass.
Simpson started with an 8-foot birdie.
Hughes, 27, said he grew up watching and idolizing Woods, and it was a thrill to be paired with him.
Woods's 65 was his best round of the year, and also a career low for the Players, which he won in 2001 and 2013, and which puts his performance today into perspective.
Woods birdied eight of his first 12 holes and needed just 15 putts to do it.
He has now improved by exactly three strokes with each passing round. Adding to his struggle was the death past year of his father, whom he called his hero, the man who taught him never to quit. At the age of 9, Tesori played at TPC Sawgrass before it opened to the public, hitting balls from the dirt of No. 17 with his grandfather and the first course superintendent.
The par-three 13th is not an easy hole and the 15th I had to hit a five iron to reach the green, so I was very pleased with that.
Despite water here and there, the challenging bunkering and the possibilities for quirky bounces off the many mounds, there were times when Simpson looked like he was just showing off. Putts that I'm just trying to get close are going in. I don't make birdie at 16.