The Players. Martin Caught By Jordan.

dragon logo darkTHE PLAYERS Championship

Martin Kaymer has been caught at the top of The Players leaderboard by Jordan Spieth at TPC Sawgrass.

Martin Kaymer (left) and Jordan Spieth will lead the chase at TPC Sawgrass on Sunday. (Kevin Cox/Getty Images)

Martin And Jordan / Getty Images

Jordan Spieth and Martin Kaymer will be in the final group for Sunday’s final round of  THE PLAYERS Championship, tied for the lead at -12 under par for the tournament, three shots clear of the field.

Jordan carded a third round -1 under par 71, and is still bogey free through 54 holes, the only man in the field to be bogey free for the tournament. Martin scored an even round 72,  with a bogey at the last hole dropping him into a tie with Jordan.

Both players found trouble at the par-4 18th off the tee, but Jordan recovered to roll in his par-saving putt from just inside 13 feet from off the fringe, while Martin missed his par putt from 9 feet.

Jordan, who tied for second place at last month’s Masters is pretty happy with his game right now, and even mentioned how Martin told him to have fun;

” I’m very excited about where my game’s at, it was a putt I didn’t necessarily expect to go in, putting through that fringe. “You want to hit it with the right speed and if it bounces, it bounces, if it rolls true, it rolls true. And, fortunately, that one rolled true. It was nice to see one go in and it meant a lot to me before I hit it, so that’s good news going into tomorrow.”

“ He was out there truly having fun, he came up to me after I missed the putt on 10 and we were walking down the fairway at 11, he’s like, ‘Just don’t worry about it, just have some fun. This is where you want to be,’ which was really cool for him to come up and say that at the time.”

Martin suffered at the hands of the hostile crowd, who even booed him and then cheered when he had made a mistake. Jordan spoke of the incident;

 “He handled it gracefully, just a class act, took his hat off, smiled.”

Martin is looking forward to the battle tomorrow;

“I look forward to tomorrow, Jordan is playing very good golf. At the end of the day, it comes down to if you really play with your heart and with a passion and really want to win, it comes down to the person who really, really wants it.”

Sergio Garcia and John Senden are tied in third place at -9 under par, Sergio with a -3 under par 69 and John -4 under par 68.

John has not given himself much of a chance tomorrow, saying;

“I believe that it’s up to those two guys to almost fight it out tomorrow.” 

Matt Jones, George McNeill and Gary Woodland are in the group at -8 under par, while. Lee Westwood, David Hearn and Francesco Molinari are at -7 under par. 

Justin Rose should have been on that number but after officials reviewed video of a ball moving at address at the 18th hole they generously awarded him a two shot penalty.

 An initial review of the incident in the scoring area, watched by Justin and Tour officials confirmed they saw no movement, but before he could sign his scorecard David Probyn, a European Tour official who was watching the third round from the United Kingdom, called PGA Tour officials to inform them he saw the ball move.

A third review on an ultra-magnified version of the tape revealed that the ball rocked by “a hair” Justin said.

Gentleman Justin took it well;

“It has to be the right result. Because if the ball moves, whether it moves an inch, if the ball moves a hair, the ball moved. I’m happy now, my conscience is clear, I’ll sleep better tonight, knowing that, eventually, the right decision was made.”

A very different decision was made earlier in the week when a payer brushed his ball with his putter while taking a practice swing, the ball moved, but the player was not penalized. You could see the ball move as it happened, it took space agency type equipment to see anything with Justin’s incident.

THE PLAYERS Championship @ TPC Sawgrass · Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

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Ian Poulter and Martin Laird are at the top of the leaderboard at the Players Championship after round one of the tournament at        TPC Sawgrass, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Ian and Martin both had opening rounds of -7 under par 65, and lead the field by just one shot. Blake Adams is the player who is one shot off the lead with his -6 under par round of 66.

Ian said of his round today;

“Got off to a nice start really. Hit a nice shot into the first and had a great look there. Two putts at the second for birdie. Hit a lovely sand iron, which was probably a millimeter from dropping on four, for eagle. It just didn’t seem to want to go in. So I had to tap it in. Soft bogey for me, middle of the fairway on seven. Pulled an 8-iron left and really had no shot. So that was a soft bogey. And then from 9, I had nine single putts, I didn’t realize, until someone just told me.  It was a very, very good round of golf. That’s definitely probably in the top 10 of the rounds of golf I’ve ever played. To turn around and say, that you’re going to walk off seven-under par a little bit disappointed, but if I look at the chances I had on the front nine, that could have easily been a few more. I birdied 9, 10,11, 12. All of those were decent chances, putts you would expect to hole. And had a nice birdie on 16 and 17.”

Martin was very happy with his bogey free first round effort;

” Obviously very happy with my round today. You know, going bogey-free anywhere is good, but around this golf course it feels extremely satisfying. Really the key to my round today was the putter. I putted really well. I had a few par saves that I made, but chipped the ball really well, too, which is really important around here because the greens are so small; if the wind picks up a little bit you’re going to miss some greens. Real solid day, and any time I hit a good shot, I feel like I made the putt for birdie, which is always nice when you have one of those days.”

Martin had just  had 12 putts on the front and the back nines.

Blake Adams had nine straight birdies at the start of his round;

Obviously any time you finish on nine with five straight birdies, it’s a good day. I was fortunate to get out early. Had perfect greens; I was the first group out. A little wind until about halfway through the front nine or whatever, and you know, just kind of rode the momentum of those five birdies to the back side. I was obviously trying to make more birdies on the back side, but you know, finished the way I finished, signed my card and here I am.”

The Big names did not have such an easy time of it.

Major winner Padraig Harrington was the best of them with a -3 under par round of 69. Lee Westwood continued his trend of starting slowly with a first round score of -1 under par, 71, the same score as Phil Mickleson.

Lee rued all those missed chances;

It was a bit tricky out there. The wind felt like it was switching a little bit. It was tough to club. The most disappointing thing about the day was only shooting 1-under having made seven birdies. Played really nicely. Birdied all the par 5s which you need to do around this golf course. Hit the ball well. Semi-sort of pleased with the day, really. Just a few too many mistakes. If I can eradicate those, then I should have a chance over the weekend.”

Phil is still full of confidence after -1 under round;

” I played really well today. So it was one of those days where I probably didn’t get the score out of it that I should have, but I played really well, and have a lot of confidence heading into tomorrow that when we see a little bit different course, a little bit more receptive greens, I think that I’ll be able to turn that 1 under into something quite a bit lower.”

On even are last weeks winner Rickie Fowler, Luke Donald and world number one Rory McIlroy.

Still struggling are Tiger Woods and Ernie Els, who both had +2 first rounds of 74, and will need to do some work tomorrow to male the cut.

Tiger did not have any excuses;

“It wasn’t certainly the most positive start. Any kind of momentum that I would build, I would shoot myself in the foot on the very next hole. Just one of those days.”