US PGA Players Championship - R3

Rahm takes lead, Fleetwood & McIlroy 1-behind

March 14-17
TPC Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra, Florida
$12,500,000
Round 1, Round 2, Round 4


Jon Rahm stormed into the lead at the Players Championship in Florida on Saturday, firing an eight-under-par 64 to take a one-shot advantage into the final round as he chases his first win of the year.

The 24-year-old Spanish ace surged into contention after taming TPC Sawgrass’s Stadium Course at Ponte Vedra Beach with a scintillating exhibition of accurate iron shots and solid putting.

The world number 10 only narrowly missed out on equalling the course record 63 after finishing the third round with a 15-under-par aggregate of 201.

Rahm took sole possession of the lead after overnight leader Rory McIlroy endured a mixed round. The Northern Ireland star recovered from a bogey-bogey start to card a two-under-par 70 to finish the day at 14 under.

England’s Tommy Fleetwood will also start the fourth round one off the pace.

Fleetwood recovered from a double-bogey on the first, and two more bogeys on the front nine, to card a two-under-par 70 for 14 under.

Rahm meanwhile is hoping to claim his first win of the year after a remarkably consistent start to 2019 which has included top-10 finishes in five of six starts.

The Spaniard attributed his success on Saturday to a new-found mental durability.

“For the past year or so, I’ve been working so hard in the mental aspect of my game, trying to keep myself in check a little bit more,” Rahm said after his round.

“That’s been the key this week. I’ve been so balanced, nothing like I used to be, not getting frustrated when I miss shots.

“I’ve been really proud the way I’ve handled. Hopefully tomorrow I can continue it and get a good round.”

Rahm’s fireworks on Saturday came on the back nine, which he completed in six under to move clear of the field.

A birdie on the 10th was followed by an eagle on the par-five 11th, when he drilled a magnificent second shot from the fairway to three feet from 244 yards.

A laser-guided tee shot to three feet on the par-three 13th yielded a further birdie, and then two more birdies on the 16th and 17th took him to eight under for the day.

McIlroy meanwhile was in trouble from the start, carding bogeys at the first and second to immediately give the chasing pack hope.

But he responded to that early setback on the par-three third hole, draining a 14-foot birdie putt to pick up a shot.

A further birdie followed on the seventh, when McIlroy steered a 141-yard iron from the fairway to 12 feet and then rolled in the birdie putt.

It got better on the 238-yard par-three eighth with another birdie.

A four iron off the tee left McIlroy with a tap-in for a birdie two to leave him at one under at the turn.

McIlroy had a long eagle putt on the 11th but had to settle for a birdie after his 40-foot effort missed by three feet.

That was as good as it got for McIlroy for the remainder of the back nine, with the four-time major winner missing a birdie chance on 18 to reclaim a share of the lead.

“To start two over through two and finish two under par I thought was a good effort,” McIlroy said.

“To play the final 16 holes in four under was good. I just need to keep hitting fairways and greens on Sunday. If I can do that, hopefully I can turn tomorrow into the best Sunday of the year so far.”


A crowded leaderboard behind the front three leaves Sunday’s final round wide open.

Australia’s Jason Day moved into contention with a four-under-par 68 on Saturday to go to 12 under, three off the lead.

Mexico’s Abraham Ancer is fifth on 11 under, one clear of six players tied for sixth place on 10 under which includes Dustin Johnson.


Pos.
Player
Nat
To Par
R1
R2
R3
Total
1
Jon Rahm
ESP
-15
69
68
64
201
T2
Rory McIlroy
NIR
-14
67
65
70
202
T2
Tommy Fleetwood
ENG
-14
65
67
70
202
4
Jason Day
AUS
-12
70
66
68
204
5
Abraham Ancer
USA
-11
69
66
70
205
T6
Ollie Schniederjans
USA
-10
71
70
65
206
T6
Brandt Snedeker
USA
-10
69
72
65
206
T6
Keegan Bradley
USA
-10
65
73
68
206
T6
Dustin Johnson
USA
-10
69
68
69
206
T6
Brian Harman
USA
-10
66
69
71
206
T6
Jim Furyk
USA
-10
71
64
71
206
T12
Joel Dahmen
USA
-9
69
71
67
207
T12
Adam Scott
AUS
-9
70
69
68
207
T12
Patrick Reed
USA
-9
69
69
69
207
T12
Kevin Kisner
USA
-9
68
68
71
207
T16
Jhonattan Vegas
VEN
-8
72
69
67
208
T16
Eddie Pepperell
ENG
-8
72
68
68
208
T16
Justin Rose
ENG
-8
74
66
68
208
T16
Tony Finau
USA
-8
69
71
68
208
T16
Bryson DeChambeau
USA
-8
70
69
69
208
T16
Vaughn Taylor
USA
-8
67
70
71
208
T22
Hideki Matsuyama
JPN
-7
71
72
66
209
T22
Rickie Fowler
USA
-7
74
67
68
209
T24
Corey Conners
CAN
-6
72
70
68
210
T24
Ryan Moore
USA
-6
67
74
69
210
T24
Tom Hoge
USA
-6
69
71
70
210
T24
Lucas Bjerregaard
DNK
-6
70
70
70
210
T24
Webb Simpson
USA
-6
70
70
70
210
T24
Byeong-Hun An
KOR
-6
66
71
73
210
T24
J. T. Poston
USA
-6
68
69
73
210
T24
Ian Poulter
ENG
-6
69
66
75
210
T32
Brian Gay
USA
-5
76
67
68
211
T32
Richy Werenski
USA
-5
72
71
68
211
T32
Nick Taylor
CAN
-5
73
69
69
211
T32
Matt Kuchar
USA
-5
69
70
72
211
T32
Russell Knox
SCO
-5
70
68
73
211
T32
Rory Sabbatini
SVK
-5
68
69
74
211
T32
Keith Mitchell
USA
-5
71
65
75
211
T39
Matt Wallace
ENG
-4
69
73
70
212
T39
Michael Thompson
USA
-4
69
71
72
212
T39
Billy Horschel
USA
-4
69
70
73
212
T39
Luke List
USA
-4
69
68
75
212
T43
Bubba Watson
USA
-3
72
71
70
213
T43
Justin Thomas
USA
-3
71
72
70
213
T43
Daniel Berger
USA
-3
75
68
70
213
T43
Denny McCarthy
USA
-3
69
72
72
213
T43
Matthew Fitzpatrick
ENG
-3
70
71
72
213
T43
Tiger Woods
USA
-3
70
71
72
213
T43
Si-Woo Kim
KOR
-3
73
68
72
213
T43
Brice Garnett
USA
-3
71
69
73
213
T43
Martin Kaymer
GER
-3
71
69
73
213
T43
Sergio Garcia
ESP
-3
69
70
74
213
T43
Sung-Hoon Kang
KOR
-3
73
66
74
213
T54
Kelly Kraft
USA
-2
73
70
71
214
T54
Scott Piercy
USA
-2
74
68
72
214
T54
Francesco Molinari
ITA
-2
72
70
72
214
T54
Martin Trainer
USA
-2
73
69
72
214
T54
Seamus Power
IRL
-2
74
67
73
214
T54
Andrew Landry
USA
-2
73
68
73
214
T54
Gary Woodland
USA
-2
72
69
73
214
T54
Charles Howell III
USA
-2
69
70
75
214
T62
Chris Kirk
USA
-1
74
69
72
215
T62
Branden Grace
RSA
-1
73
70
72
215
T62
Cameron Smith
AUS
-1
72
70
73
215
T62
Emiliano Grillo
ARG
-1
70
72
73
215
T62
Jason Kokrak
USA
-1
73
68
74
215
T62
Thorbjorn Olesen
DEN
-1
70
69
76
215
T62
Bud Cauley
USA
-1
69
70
76
215
T69
Louis Oosthuizen
RSA
Par
73
70
73
216
T69
Brooks Koepka
USA
Par
72
71
73
216
T69
Jimmy Walker
USA
Par
75
68
73
216
T69
Cheng Tsung Pan
TPE
Par
72
70
74
216
T69
Scott Langley
USA
Par
69
72
75
216
CUT
Beau Hossler
USA
Par
70
74
144
CUT
Brendan Steele
USA
Par
68
76
144
CUT
Haotong Li
CHN
Par
69
75
144
CUT
Kevin Streelman
USA
Par
73
71
144
CUT
Kyle Stanley
USA
Par
68
76
144
CUT
Marc Leishman
AUS
Par
71
73
144
CUT
Scott Stallings
USA
Par
71
73
144
CUT
Sung-Jae Im
KOR
Par
73
71
144
CUT
Trey Mullinax
USA
Par
69
75
144
CUT
Troy Merritt
USA
Par
71
73
144
CUT
Xander Schauffele
USA
Par
70
74
144
CUT
Aaron Wise
USA
1
71
74
145
CUT
Chez Reavie
USA
1
71
74
145
CUT
Dominic Bozzelli
USA
1
74
71
145
CUT
Henrik Stenson
SWE
1
75
70
145
CUT
J. B. Holmes
USA
1
73
72
145
CUT
Jordan Spieth
USA
1
76
69
145
CUT
Nick Watney
USA
1
70
75
145
CUT
Russell Henley
USA
1
73
72
145
CUT
Ryan Palmer
USA
1
71
74
145
CUT
Sam Ryder
USA
1
74
71
145
CUT
Alex Cejka
GER
2
73
73
146
CUT
Alexander Noren
SWE
2
70
76
146
CUT
Brian Stuard
USA
2
75
71
146
CUT
Chesson Hadley
USA
2
76
70
146
CUT
Harris English
USA
2
70
76
146
CUT
Martin Laird
SCO
2
76
70
146
CUT
Patrick Cantlay
USA
2
75
71
146
CUT
Ryan Armour
USA
2
72
74
146
CUT
Ryan Blaum
USA
2
71
75
146
CUT
Austin Cook
USA
3
72
75
147
CUT
Peter Uihlein
USA
3
72
75
147
CUT
Shane Lowry
IRL
3
73
74
147
CUT
Stewart Cink
USA
3
77
70
147
CUT
Talor Gooch
USA
3
72
75
147
CUT
Aaron Baddeley
AUS
4
75
73
148
CUT
Danny Willett
ENG
4
75
73
148
CUT
Kevin Tway
USA
4
76
72
148
CUT
Lucas Glover
USA
4
76
72
148
CUT
Phil Mickelson
USA
4
74
74
148
CUT
Sam Saunders
USA
4
75
73
148
CUT
Scott Brown
USA
4
75
73
148
CUT
Ted Potter Jr.
USA
4
74
74
148
CUT
Tyrrell Hatton
ENG
4
74
74
148
CUT
Bronson Burgoon
USA
5
73
76
149
CUT
Charl Schwartzel
RSA
5
75
74
149
CUT
Vijay Singh
FIJ
5
73
76
149
CUT
Brandon Harkins
USA
6
69
81
150
CUT
Grayson Murray
USA
6
72
78
150
CUT
Harold Varner III
USA
6
74
76
150
CUT
John Huh
USA
6
74
76
150
CUT
Satoshi Kodaira
JPN
6
74
76
150
CUT
Zach Johnson
USA
6
73
77
150
CUT
Adam Hadwin
CAN
7
76
75
151
CUT
Andrew Putnam
USA
7
76
75
151
CUT
Charley Hoffman
USA
8
75
77
152
CUT
Danny Lee
NZL
8
75
77
152
CUT
Michael Kim
KOR
8
74
78
152
CUT
Paul Casey
ENG
8
78
74
152
CUT
Kiradech Aphibarnrat
THA
9
84
69
153
CUT
Rafael Cabrera Bello
ESP
9
77
76
153
DSQ
Wyndham Clark
USA
Par
80
80
MDF
Anirban Lahiri
IND
1
70
71
76
217
MDF
Jason Dufner
USA
1
70
73
74
217
MDF
Tyler Duncan
USA
1
70
71
76
217
MDF
Patrick Rodgers
USA
2
72
70
76
218
MDF
Kevin Na
USA
3
71
70
78
219
MDF
Adam Long
USA
4
71
72
77
220
MDF
Patton Kizzire
USA
4
71
70
79
220
RET
Cameron Champ
USA
Par
78
78
RET
J. J. Spaun
USA
Par
76
76
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