Players Championship: Martin Kaymer and Jordan Spieth tied for the lead at Sawgrass
Martin Kaymer and Jordan Spieth hold a three-shot lead over the field after the third round of the Players Championship.
Last Updated: 11/05/14 11:52am
Kaymer, who led by one at halfway, posted a level par 72 to remain at 12-under while he was joined there by Spieth (71) who has completed the first 54 holes without a single bogey on his scorecard.
Sergio Garcia (69) and Aussie John Senden (68) are tied for third on nine-under - three back - although the Spaniard was left to rue a three-putt at 17 which turned a possible birdie into a bogey.
Another Aussie, Matt Jones (69), shares fifth with American duo George McNeill (69) and Gary Woodland (70) while Lee Westwood, who bogeyed the last, is five back after a second straight 71.
Spieth first pulled level when Kaymer three-putted the fourth, but the German regained the lead with a birdie on the sixth and went two clear with another on the ninth.
A birdie on the 11th, where Kaymer three-putted from 80 feet for par, saw Spieth reduce the gap to a single shot and the 20-year-old did well to keep a bogey off his card after a wild tee shot on the 14th that went way right.
Spieth also had to scramble at the par five 16th after almost finding water with an overhit third and again showed his tenacity at the last after having to play out of the trees down the right.
His third finished at the back edge of the green but he calmly drained his 13 foot par putt to make it three straight rounds with a bogey.
Kaymer, who also went right off the tee, couldn't follow him in though and his missed putt means the pair will start the final round tied at the top.
Kaymer, who had predicted that anything around par would be a good score on Saturday, said later: "It was very, very tricky today. It played really tough today so level par's okay."
Spieth, meanwhile, was relieved to hold his round together.
"It was an off-day, ball-striking for me and I was playing from the trees a lot," he said. "Got a couple of nice breaks and good bounces."
Rory McIlroy recovered from a poor start to come home in 31 and post a three-under 69. So far this week, McIlroy has taken 117 strokes on the front nine and 96 on the back nine, a difference of 21 shots at an average of seven per day.
Like McIlroy, World No 2 Adam Scott had also made the cut on level par after a second round 67 and he matched Rory's 69 to join the Northern Irishman on three under.
That kept alive Scott's hopes of overtaking Tiger Woods at the top of the world rankings with a top-16 finish, although the Australian spent more time afterwards answering questions about getting married in the Bahamas the week after the Masters.
The infamous par three 17th hole wasn't a factor on Saturday, with just one ball finding the water.
That beat the record low of three set back in the third round in 2003.
Justin Rose suffered a blow at the end of the round when he was given a two-stroke penalty at 18 when his ball moved after he'd grounded his club when attempting to chip from the back of the green.
That turned a one-under 71 into a one-over 73 and means he'll start the final round seven shots behind.
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