Jon Rahm is in pole position heading into Sunday’s final round at The Players Championship after his almost flawless eight-under at TPC Sawgrass on Saturday.
Rahm, who started the day five shots behind overnight leaders Rory McIlroy and Tommy Fleetwood, only had one blemish on his card for Saturday as seven birdies and eagle on the 11th saw him shoot into a one-shot lead by the end of the day.
McIlroy and Fleetwood started slowly and struggled in the opening stages, dropping shots, but both recovered to sign off with a pair of 70s. Jason Day is three shots behind after his 68 on Saturday.
Branden Grace, one of two South Africans to make the cut, shot a 72 in a frustrating round that saw him alternate between birdies and bogeys in between his pars. He is tie 62nd heading into Sunday. Louis Oosthuizen is tie 69th after he signed off with a one-over 73. It will be all about building some confidence for the Saffas on Sunday.
Former South African Rory Sabbatini had an up-and-down round, shooting four birdies, but dropped six shots, thanks to two bogeys and two double bogeys to end his round with a two-over 74.
What they said:
Rahm: ‘Didn’t miss many shots out there.’ ‘Really, really confident with my irons. Every time I stepped up, I felt like I was going to hit a good shot.’
McIlroy: ‘I just need to hit fairways and greens. If I can do that, and take the opportunities I give myself, hopefully I can turn tomorrow into the best Sunday of the year so far.’
Fleetwood: ‘It was just a grind. I’m glad I showed the strength mentally more than anything. Under par is always a good score around here no matter how you play.’
201 Jon Rahm 69 68 64
202 Tommy Fleetwood 65 67 70, Rory McIlroy 67 65 70
204 Jason Day 70 66 68
205 Abraham Ancer 69 66 70
206 Keegan Bradley 65 73 68, Dustin Johnson 69 68 69, Brian Harman 66, 69 71
Jim Furyk 71, 64, 71