By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- For the first time this week on PGATOUR.COM, fans will be able to follow live streaming video of two groups at THE PLAYERS Championship for an entire round each day.
The morning group to watch on Sunday features a couple of major champions in Martin Kaymer and Charl Schwartzel. Both were under par through the first two rounds here but struggled in the third round, shooting 75 and 76, respectively.They teed off at 9:16 a.m. ET.
The afternoon group to follow features Lee Westwood and Marc Leishman. Westwood got off to a shaky start in the third round with two double bogeys in his first four holes, but he rallied with three birdies on the back nine to get within four of the lead entering the final round. Leishman, meanwhile, made three bogeys on the back nine, including one on the 18th. He's trying to become the first Aussie to win here since Adam Scott in 2004. They'll tee off at 1:48 p.m. ET.
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- There's a 30 percent chance of afternoon thunderstorms during the final round of THE PLAYERS Championship, where play was interrupted for nearly 2 hours on Saturday.
A cold front located over Southern Georgia will drop into northern Florida this afternoon, according to the forecast. The highest probability for thunderstorms will occur between noon and 6 p.m. ET.
The high for Sunday will be in the lower 80s with winds out of the west at 8-15 mph.
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. --The pin sheet is out for the final round of THE PLAYERS Championship, and there are a few untraditional hole locations.
The par-4 eighth and par-5 ninth both have front pins, and the tee has been moved up on the latter, which will tempt players to go for the green in two.
On the back nine, the 13th features a back hole location, while the 18th pin is front left instead of back left.
Tiger Woods is one of the three co-leaders going into the final round. (Greenwood/Getty Images)
By PGATOUR.COM staff
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. --Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia, two past champions of THE PLAYERS Championship, will enter the final round Sunday tied for the lead. Joining them is PGA TOUR rookie David Lingmerth, the Web.com Tour graduate making just his 13th start on TOUR.
All three players are at 11 under, having completing their third rounds on Sunday morning after play was suspended Saturday night due to darkness.
Lingmerth knows his track record at TPC Sawgrass can match Garcia's or Woods', but he isn't planning to fade away in the final round.
"I'm expecting to be good," he said. "I've been feeling good all week, so I'm expecting to be in it."
Asked if he was surprised to see a rookie tied for the lead, Woods said, "Anything can happen here. This is a golf course that if you're playing well, you're playing well. Obviously, he's playing well and he's right there."
They share the 54-hole lead by one stroke over the trio of Henrik Stenson, Ryan Palmer and Casey Wittenberg. Jeff Maggert is another shot back at 9 under, while Hunter Mahan and David Lynn are at 8 under.
Garcia, the 2008 PLAYERS champ, and Lingmerth will be in the final twosome for Sunday's final round. Woods, the 2001 champ, will play with Wittenberg, another Web.com Tour grad.
Garcia is in the final group instead of Woods because he had honors on the final hole. Since both players finished with the same 54-hole score, that left Garcia with Lingmerth, who had completed his round earlier.
Garcia played with Woods in the third round and said he was distracted by an incident on the second hole. Given the circumstances, Garcia is glad he's playing with Lingmerth on Sunday.
"I think it's probably good for both of us," Garcia said, also referring to Woods. "I mean, it's as simple as that."
Woods said it didn't matter who he was paired with in the final round.
"It really doesn't, no," he said. "I'm tied for the lead, so I'm right there."
Woods and Garcia had the most holes to finish Sunday morning with four, having stopped on Saturday after hitting their tee shots at the 15th hole.
Woods birdied the par-5 16th and parred the rest to complete his 1-under 71.
Garcia completed the 15th hole with a bogey but bounced back with a birdie at the 16th and then another one at the par-3 17th when he rolled in a putt from 12 feet.
Lingmerth, with just one hole to play, started off with a shaky drive that found trouble down the right side of the 18th fairway. That forced him into a bad spot with his second shot, as he tried to hit a 6-iron over a tree in front of him. It hit the tree and scooted into the fairway, leading to a bogey that dropped him to 11 under. He had led by two shots when play was halted Saturday.
"Honestly, I feel pretty good over it," Lingmerth said about his first tee shot on Sunday. "Just kind of blocked it out. I was trying to hit a cut, which is my go-to shot really. I just kind of slapped it a little too much.
"The second shot was the one that was a little bit troubling. Hit a bad one there and got lucky to be on the fairway."
Stenson parred his remaining two holes to complete his 1-under 71 and is at 10 under. Palmer birdied the 17th en route to a 70 and is also at 10 under.
"It's not the easiest two holes to finish off in the morning at 7 o'clock, so I was quite pleased making two pars on 17 and 18," Stenson said. "It's a wide-open tournament, probably 10 or 15 guys that can win this thing.
"So happy to be out there and just going to go back and rest a little bit and come back ready for this afternoon."
Photo by Chris Condon/PGA TOUR
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Due to the third round of THE PLAYERS Championship being halted by darkness, Sunday's schedule has been adjusted. Here is some of the key information.
The third round will resume at 7:10 a.m. ET Sunday with eight players still on the course. Tournament leader David Lingmerth and Casey Wittenberg have one hole to complete; Henrik Stenson and Ryan Palmer have two holes left; Lee Westwood and Kevin Chappell have three holes left; and Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia have four holes remaining.
The start time for the final round is approximately 8:35 a.m. ET. The final pairing is expected to tee off at 2:38 p.m.
The Golf Channel will begin its coverage at 7 a.m. ET.
NBC's coverage of the final round will begin at 1:30 p.m. ET with Live From THE PLAYERS, followed by live coverage at 2 p.m. ET.
Our exclusive Follow A Group live streaming feature, in which users can watch every shot, begins at 9:30 a.m. ET.
The early group will be Martin Kaymer and Charl Schwartzel. You can follow their final round shot by shot.
The afternoon group will be Lee Westwood and Marc Leishman, who tee off at 1:48 p.m. ET. You will be able to watch every shot from that twosome as they attempt to track down the leaders in the final round.
Our Featured Holes live stream begins at noon ET with coverage from the 13th and 17th holes.
Live streaming coverage of NBC's telecast begins at 2 p.m. ET.
SIRIUS/XM PGA TOUR RADIO
Coverage begins at noon ET on Sirius 208, XM 93.
IF YOU'RE GOING
Gates will open at TPC Sawgrass at 7 a.m. ET.
Parking will return to normal schedule.
The Sunrise Service will now take place in the Stadium Village at 7:30 a.m. ET instead of the 18th green.
By PGATOUR.COM staff
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- A 25-year-old PGA TOUR rookie has found rarified air with three former PLAYERS champions hot on his heels as the third round is suspended by darkness after a weather delay of nearly two hours earlier in the day.
David Lingmerth, a Swede who played at Arkansas, made an 8-footer for eagle at the 16th hole to take sole possession of the lead. Lingmerth had just hit his tee shot at the 17th hole to 10 feet when the horn sounded to suspend play.
He and his playing partner, Casey Wittenberg, who had a 5-footer opted to attempt their birdie putts. Both made the putts so they will return on Sunday morning at 7:10 a.m. to play one hole on what could be a career-defining Sunday.
Lingmerth, who had missed his last five cuts, is 12 under and owns a two-stroke lead over Henrik Stenson, Sergio Garcia and Tiger Woods. Stenson opted to finish the 16th hole and made par while the other two stopped after hitting their drives on No. 15.
Stenson, who was tied for the lead until he bogeyed No. 15, was 1 under when he headed toward the clubhouse. Garcia, who had just bogeyed No. 14 after finding the bunker that runs down the left side of the fairway, was 1 over while Woods was even after reeling off 11 straight pars.
Jeff Maggert, a 49-year-old veteran, finished his round of 66 more than four hours before play was suspended and is among three players tied at 9 under. Whittenberg is another, along with Ryan Palmer, who birdied the 16th hole before play as suspended.
David Lynn, who lost in a playoff at last week's Wells Fargo Championship, shot a 68 and is tied with Hunter Mahan at 8 under. Mahan had a roller-coaster round of 71 that included two double bogeys, an eagle and four birdies.
The estimated start time for the fourth round is 8:35 a.m. ET. Players will be re-paired for the final round.
"I'm half asleep, I'm really hungry and I really want dinner," Woods said. "So let's call it quits and go watch the Knicks game."
Lingmerth, on the other hand, opted to continue to play because he felt he had momentum, particularly after the eagle putt.
"I was rolling it pretty good here towards the end on the back side so I figured I might as well keep it going," Lingmerth said.
Lingmerth, who lost to Brian Gay in a playoff at the Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation in his second start on TOUR, is trying to become the first rookie to win THE PLAYERS -- and just the third to make the PGA TOUR's signature event his first victory.
"I might have some butterflies," the Web.com Tour grad said. "And it might be hard to sleep but it should be interesting."
David Lingmerth eagles the 16th hole at TPC Sawgrass to take the lead in THE PLAYERS Championship.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- David Lingmerth was one of the first people on the range at TPC Sawgrass on Sunday when the practice facilities opened after several days of torrential rain.
The Swede, who moved to nearby Jacksonville Beach in December, had been looking forward to this week's PLAYERS Championship. For the first time all year, the PGA TOUR rookie actually knew the course he'd be playing on that week.
"So this one I knew I was going to have a pretty good idea what I was going to get into, so it made me feel good," Lingmerth said. "It's been helping me with the lines off the tee and where I can and cannot miss around the greens and stuff like that."
Indeed, it has. Lingmerth is one par 4 shy of his fourth straight round in the 60s on the always challenging Stadium Course. He's in heady company, too, leading a trio of former champions -- world No. 1 Tiger Woods, Sergio Garcia and Henrik Stenson -- by two strokes at THE PLAYERS Championship.
"I had a good feeling (about the week), but this is obviously great," Lingmerth said.
Lingmerth bolted into the lead as darkness approached Saturday with an 8-foot eagle putt at the 16th hole and a 10-footer for birdie at iconic 17th. The horn to suspend play sounded just after he hit his pitching wedge to the island green and he wasn't about to let the putt percolate overnight.
"I was feeling good about things, so I didn't want to sleep on it and try to start over tomorrow morning," Lingmerth said.
THE PLAYERS marks just the 13th event of Lingmerth's TOUR career. No rookie has ever won THE PLAYERS -- the highest finish by one is a tie for third -- and only two players have made it their breakthrough victory.
Lingmerth came close to his own first win in just his second TOUR start at the Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation where he lost in a playoff to Brian Gay. He's missed his last five cuts, although he's felt like he's on the verge of playing well.
"I don't know if I could predict that this was going to happen, but my game was feeling a lot better than missing five cuts in a row; I can promise you that," Lingmerth said. "It was kind of frustrating because I couldn't get anything out of my game really. But now this week I've been able to score, which obviously helped."
Lingmerth moved to Florida to escape the winters in Arkansas, where he went to college. He lives about 10 yards from the home of fellow Swede Jonas Blixt, who won the Frys.com Open as a rookie last season and is 17 strokes behind his friend.
"Jonas is a little influence for me coming down here," Lingmerth said. "He told me this place was great and practice and the weather was always good. It was nice to move somewhere where you knew you had a buddy you could practice with and hang out with off the course and everything. So, yeah, it's fun."
Lingmerth estimated that he hasn't played more than a dozen full rounds on the Stadium Course and says he's never shot lower than the 68s he's had in the first two rounds. Like most players who live in the area, though, he's quick to point out that Pete Dye's signature creation plays differently this week than the other 51 each year.
"Obviously, thrilled to be in this position," Lingmerth said. "It's going to be a fun day tomorrow."
Hunter Mahan tries to locate his ball on the par-4 15th.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- One minute, Hunter Mahan was moving up the leaderboard. The next, he was looking up at a tree.
Mahan's tee shot on the par-4 15th hole sailed left and into the trees Saturday. The only problem was, it never came down.
Mahan identified the ball through the help of binoculars and was forced to take a drop before eventually making double bogey on the hole.
"The wind started really blowing," he said. "I was hoping it would blow my ball out."
Mahan birdied the next hole, but gave it right back with a bogey on the par-3 17th, where he three-putted from just inside 30 feet after barely reaching the island green.
On 18, the weirdness continued. His drive settled up against the side of the cart path. Mahan was allowed relief and went to make par, capping a 71 to get within four of the lead.
Said Mahan: "It was the wildest last four holes."
But four he was able to get in before the horn sounded.
Henrik Stenson birdies the sixth hole at TPC Sawgrass on Saturday during the third round of THE PLAYERS Championship.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Henrik Stenson wouldn't mind having that 4-wood he hit at the 11th hole back. Ditto for the approach at the 15th hole on Saturday.
But overall the Swede couldn't be too disappointed with his position after completing 52 holes of THE PLAYERS Championship. The 2009 champion will return to TPC Sawgrass to complete his third round, trailing his countryman, David Lingmerth, who has one hole to play, by just two strokes.
Stenson is tied with Sergio Garcia and Tiger Woods, who have yet to complete the 15th hole, at 10 under. All three are former PLAYERS champions, with Stenson's win coming in 2009 when he closed with a 66 to beat Ian Poulter by four strokes.
"It's a course I've always enjoyed playing," said Stenson, who also tied for third the first time he played the Stadium. "It's a tough golf course, and if you do the right things you get the reward, and otherwise you've got to have a short game, and I just like this golf course."
He likes the front nine better than the back this year, though. Stenson is 11 under on the first nine holes but 1 over through 25 on the back.
True to form, Stenson again was near-flawless on the front nine Saturday, making birdie putts of 3, 17 and 21 feet to grab the lead alone and then to share it. But errant approaches at Nos. 11 and 15 proved costly with his first two bogeys since Stenson made the turn in the second round.
What happened at the 11th was particularly frustrating as he thought about the wedge that ran back off the small elevated green at the par 5.
"I hit a great drive, hit a great 4-wood and just goes a little bit long and left, and you're left with a very difficult shot, come up a foot or two short and you're back down to your feet again," Stenson said. "Yeah, it does that to you. There was one or two decisions there on 11 and 15 that I might ... would have liked to do different in the future.
"But still at the races and playing all right."
Stenson preserved his share of second with a clutch par at the 16th hole, despite having to play away from the pin on the par 5 when his 7-iron plugged in the right corner of the pot bunker short of the green. His third shot landed on the green but he was "stymied," Stenson said, since he would have had to putt through the fringe to get to the hole.
"I had to flight it over the corner and got it up to about four feet and made that for par," Stenson said. "So I was pretty happy."
The key for Sunday?
"It's more down to me doing my stuff and staying mentally where I need to be and then committed to the shots, and it's always like that when you come into the back nine," Stenson said. "That's when it's going to be decided, and you might need to push a little bit or you're hopefully in a good position already."