Tiger Woods Climbs Leaderboard With a 65 at the Players Championship

The Players Championship 2018: A look ahead to Sunday with Webb Simpson in control

The Players Championship 2018: A look ahead to Sunday with Webb Simpson in control

Woods nearly missed his opportunity to make a charge. It was nice to see a few putts go in.

On a sweaty Saturday morning at TPC Sawgrass, Woods accomplished the first half of that goal by shooting a seven-under 65 to get to eight-under for the tournament.

The three-time major victor is now 8 under overall and was seven strokes back of Webb Simpson's 15-under lead at the time he finished, but he at least set himself up to have a chance on Sunday.

Simpson posted a course record-equalling second round 63 on Friday to lead from compatriot Patrick Cantlay, South African Charl Schwartzel and Danny Lee of New Zealand. Simpson couldn't miss putts he wasn't even trying to make, whether it was a 35-foot eagle putt on his second hole or a 30-foot birdie putt up the slope and into the cup on the 15th. "I birdied the first couple of holes and I just kept it rolling from there", Woods told the Golf Channel.

"If I can keep the right tempo going, I'm going to keep hitting good shots", said the 33-year-old, who has won only twice in 173 starts on the PGA Tour.

The 65 for Spieth is his lowest round ever at TPC Sawgrass and just the second time he's cracked 70 since the second round in 2014 when he shot 66 and almost went on to win the tournament (he shot 68 in Round 2 this year). "There are a few hard ones, but then again, there's a lot of birdie holes out there tomorrow, and if it stays calm in the morning, you'll see a bunch of guys go low". He blasted to 8 feet but couldn't convert.

At that point, it appeared that the moment was having an effect on Tiger's playing partner MacKenzie Hughes, a 27-year-old PGA Tour rookie from Canada who was playing with Woods-and all that comes with playing with Woods-for the first time. "I just didn't see him enough, so I employed a coach in November, and it's really worked out well so far".

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The supernova group of Woods, Mickelson and Rickie Fowler disappointed on the course after an inordinate amount of hype coming into Round 1. He hit 15 of 18 greens in regulation despite hitting only seven of 14 fairways.

Spieth finished strongly with three successive birdies at the end of his third round.

The third round of The Players' Championship is underway at Sawgrass.

"I think I was flawless inside of 12, 15". Feel like I'm putting well.

"I didn't quite swing it right today, and I didn't quite have the shape, ball flight", said the 14-times major champion.

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