Simpson stretches TPC lead to 7 shots

Golf Channel  Screenshot

Webb Simpson's clinic of a putting display at The Players Championship extended into Saturday's Round 3, giving him a seven-shot lead.

Starting the day in a tie for second with Charl Schwartzel and Patrick Cantlay but five shots back from leader Webb Simpson, the golfers knew they had work to do to move into contention.

Lee hit nine pars on the front, showing his consistency, and had his first birdie of the day on the par-five 11th when he escaped a green side bunker before tapping in for four.

Simpson looked set to post a new record after six successive birdies, but found the water when attacking the island green on 17 and posted a double bogey. He tapped in for birdie.

No one in PGA Tour history has failed to win an event with a seven-stroke lead entering the final 18 holes.

It's a much welcome return to form for Lee who has struggled on the PGA tour this year - making just seven cuts of the 17 tournaments he's played.

He was at 19-under 197.

Jason Day, Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth are all hovering in the top 10, and Tiger Woods electrified the crowd with an early 65 to vault himself up the leaderboard.

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"I think I was flawless from 10 to 15 feet today and anywhere inside, which was probably the first time this year that it's been the case", said Spieth. To be 11-under par, it's a shame he doesn't finish it off.

"I was pretty satisfied", he said. "I hit a lot of good shots today and it was nice to see a few putts go in".

Simpson was between a hard gap wedge and an easy pitching wedge, and after a long conversation with Tesori, chose to go with the gap wedge, aiming for a spot 138 yards away, up the slope of the green, short of the back-center hole placement.

T4. Jason Dufner, Jimmy Walker, Xander Schauffele, Jason Day, Charl Schwartzel (-9): Dufner pretty easily had the best day out of anyone in this group with a 6-under 66, but it's hard to see anyone here running down Simpson from 10 back and beating Johnson by a pair. So it just shows you where it actually matters and that's on the greens. He was in range of the course record that eluded Simpson on Saturday.

Woods and Spieth will play alongside each other over the final round, with Woods delighted after his lowest score by three shots this year.

And Woods is not stopping there, as he hopes to continue to rebuilding his game: "Eventually, I want to put all of the pieces together".

"I finally got off to a good start", said Woods, who sent waves of excitement through the gallery with six front-nine birdies.

Woods, who will try to make another run up the board Sunday, will next play at the Memorial the first week of June.

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