The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, third round comings and goings.
Kevin Na lead the Players Championship at the conclusion of the third round on Saturday, at TPC Sawgrass. Kevin shot a -4 under par round of 68 to top the leaderboard with a total score of -12 under par. He leads by one shot from Matt Kuchar who had a third round of -3 under par for 69, and a tournament score of -11 under par.
Kevin Na Lyons/Getty Images
Kevin took an incalculable number of waggles as he set up over the ball, backed off the shot if he didn’t feel comfortable and a couple of times purposely missed so he could start over. Not sure if the swing over the ball could be interpreted as an air shot, that is a decision for the marshals to ponder over. Kevin’s group were on the clock for the entire back nine, while Kevin himself was swishing away irritatingly and erratically.
On the 16th hole. He made an unsuccessful appeal, claiming he went over the allotted time because his caddie’s shadow was in the way. Kevin tried to explain his behavior,
“There’s so much on the line that I just have to sometimes back off. Or I’ll force myself to take it back, and on the way down I’ll pull up and go over the top of the ball. As ugly as it is, and as painful as it is, believe me, it’s really tough for me. And I’m trying. Trust me, I get ripped a lot. I know TV, Twitter and fans are tired of me backing off. I understand people being frustrated with me backing off, but all I can tell you guys is honestly, I’m trying. And it’s hard for me, too. But just bear with me, and hopefully we get that tomorrow round in. I know it’s frustrating. It’s frustrating for me. I want to pull the trigger. It’s getting better little by little. Hopefully, it will go away by the end of the year.”
Matt Kuchar had an up and down round that he called exciting;
“It was exciting. A lot of birdies and a lot more bogeys than I normally make. But I knew today was going to be a tricky day. I knew there were going to be a lot of bogeys. I knew there were dangers around every corner.”
Rickie Fowler is in third spot, and just three shots off the lead after a marvelous third round of -6 under par, for a 66. It was the lowest round of the day and gives him a tournament total of -9 under par. Rickie is trying to win his first two tournaments back to back, a feat that has not been accomplished since David Duval did it in 1997.
Rickie thinks he is the underdog in this tournament;
“I feel like I’m in a kind of underdog position, maybe overlooked at the start of the week. Won last week, maybe a little tired, I’m ready to go. Like I said last week, it’s all about giving yourself chances out here, and I gave myself a chance last week on Sunday and took advantage of it. Go out tomorrow, have some fun, give it our best shot and see where that puts us.”
Outside of these three players I can not see anyone else contending for the title tomorrow. I have a sneaking suspicion that Rickie Fowler will find the desire to win again.