TPC Sawgrass played toughest on Saturday during the third round of The Players Championship, but Jason Day held on for a round of one-over-par 73.
The world number one led the stellar field on 14-under-par, four shots clear of a three-way tie for second shared between Hideki Matsuyama, Ken Duke, and Alex Cejka.
‘I want to win this tournament so bad,’ said Day, who has converted his last four 54-hole leads into wins. “I really do … especially with how you can go down in history. This may push me over the line someday to get in the Hall of Fame, and that’s obviously key for me.’
He suffered on the front nine and made double bogeys at the sixth and eighth before turning in three-over-par, which let his rivals back into the picture.
The Australian showed resilience on the stretch and gave no more shots back to the course. He had a clean second loop that included birdies at the 11th and 16th, earning the 28-year-old a good lead.
‘I’m sitting four shots in front,’ said Day. ‘I’ve just got to try and be patient with myself tomorrow. It’s going to be interesting. I’m really interested to see how they set the golf course up, how fast the greens are going to be, and then I’ll be able to make my decisions on what I need to do from there. But I just can’t be too aggressive out there.’
Retief Goosen continued his impressive run with a two-under-par 70 on Saturday to reach eight-under-par for the tournament. He shared eighth place going into Sunday.