Former US Open champion Webb Simpson leads the way at Players Championship

Simpson, without a PGA Tour victory since 2013, missed a good birdie chance from 15 feet at the 10th, but his putter was red-hot over the next six holes as he soared seven shots clear of the field.

It added to a 19-under 197, tying the 54-hole record set by Greg Norman on a soft course in March.

Simpson fired a nine-under-par round on day two to become just the seventh player to shoot 15-under 63 at golf's unofficial fifth major.

Dustin Johnson (-10) - Simpson probably would have been fine with Johnson hovering around 7 under, basically out of the tournament, but the world's top-ranked player birdied three of his last six holes to peak at Simpson entering the final round.

On the 177-yard par-3 third, Schniederjans's tee shot went 179 yards to the right intermediate rough and his chip went 21 yards to the green where he rolled a two-putt for bogey.

He bogeyed the par-3 eighth but promptly recovered that shot with a birdie at the par-5 ninth.

It was a better day for Tiger Woods however, who carded a superb third round seven-under 65 to leave him on eight under alongside a cluster of players including the English pair of Ian Poulter and Tommy Fleetwood. Lee shot a 31 on the back nine with a double bogey on the 11th hole.

It was also wild and windy in the Irish Women's Open Strokeplay at Co Louth, where Lisburn's Paula Grant and Delgany's Lauren Murray lead by a shot from South Africa's Chloe Royston and Wales' Jordan Ryan after they defied heavy rain and winds gusting up to 40mph to open with five-over 79s.

My first-round scorecard with one birdie, one bogey and 16 pars looked pretty bland - this one was quite the opposite. And at the same time we're saying, if he shoots 59, can you imagine how hard the setup's going to be tomorrow? After what happened yesterday on 17, I wanted to play a good solid hole and I did that.

"My dad used to always look after me", Schwartzel said. He pinned his first approach shot eight feet from the hole, made the birdie putt and was off to the races from there. Lee asked. Told that Simpson was 19 under, Lee digested that and responded, "That's an impressive three rounds, I think". All of them went on to win. "But I'm trying not to dwell there". Earlier, 2016 Players victor Jason Day fired a bogey-free 67 to be the leading Australian at eight-under, seven shots off the pace. "I felt like that the 17th and 18th holes were good holes to finish after".

"I'm going to just keep my head down and play my game", he said. I hit some shots in the correct spots, which was nice.

"I wish I could repeat it more often, " he said.

"I think I was flawless inside of 12, 15".

"It got to the point where Erica had to drag me out of the house and say, 'OK, we're going to go do something'".

I needed to do that down the stretch to make the cut and I had the belief that I could do it.

And ultimately the mistake came at the 17th - his shot woefully short of the putting surface and, although the ball landed safe initially, the backspin sent it and McIlroy's hopes of making the weekend to a watery grave.

  • Julie Sanders