Webb Simpson equals Greg Norman's record at Players

Webb Simpson holds up his ball on the

While a seven-stroke lead is a mountain of an advantage for any professional golfer, it's still about executing for 18 holes and not letting any early mistakes impact the mindset as the round progresses.

Danny Lee during his two-under third round. This is, after all, where Alex Cejka rode a five-stroke lead into the final round in 2009 only to leave town with a ninth-place check and an abundance of scar tissue.

Webb Simpson leads by seven heading to the final round at TPC Sawgrass.

And the 32-year-old Simpson has history on his side: No one has ever lost a seven-shot lead in the final round in PGA Tour history.

Simpson's three-day total tied the previous 54-hole record total in this tournament as established by Australian Greg Norman in 1994.

It was no surprise that Simpson, a student of history, had no interest in premature celebrations. "It was a different feeling (from his round on Friday). I missed a bunch of birdies but I come away pretty happy with the way I played".

The North Carolina native, and victor of the U.S. Open in 2012, had 248-yards to the flag at 11 but sent his second shot some 33-yards past the hole and into a rear greenside bunker. While we're here, I think Schauffele should get more love than he does. After his second shot ran over the back of the green and into a bunker, Simpson played a delicate shot that trickled just over a ridge in the middle of the green and clanked off the center of the flag and in for an eagle 3.

If there were any demons from that shot lingering in this Demon Deacon's head-pardon the pun, but Simpson is a 2008 graduate of Wake Forest-he didn't let them affect him, as he spun back a wedge to three feet and made birdie.

But after finding the water on Friday at the infamous par-3 17th and taking a double-bogey "5", Simpson brought a huge crowd to their feet in sinking a three-footer for birdie and get back to 19-under and eventually signing for his 68.

"If you're off a little bit, you make bogeys or double bogeys as easy as you can make birdies", Simpson said. "The scoreboard doesn't affect me at all, I'm just out here playing golf and seeing what I can get".

Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth each had their best round at the TPC Sawgrass with 65s.

The 42-year-old Woods added birdies at the 11th and 12th but that was it for his charge, with a bogey at the 14th.

Woods carded two birdies and one bogey in a second round of 71 to finish one under and ensure he would be around for the weekend. It also marked his lowest score of the season, his best since a 65 at the 2015 Wyndham Championship and his lowest score to par since the 2013 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

Woods still had the course record of 63 in his sights as he began the tough last three-hole stretch.

"I actually drove the ball unbelievably well the first two days", Spieth said of his 75-68 start, "and I hit my driver really poorly today and shot seven under. I was just trying to shoot something in the mid-60s today, and managed to do it". Simpson's approach found a devilish pot bunker short and right of the green, and after a decent escape from there, he poured a 17-footer for par into the center of the cup, punctuated by a fist pump. "You know, being Mother's Day and seeing what she's gone through". "But when you are making half of them, like I was the first round, then it's a harder game". So I felt like I had the freedom in the stroke. He birdied the 11th and, ultimately, the 18th.

But his tee shot at the par-three 17th hit the wooden bulkhead surrounding the green, soaring high into the air before hitting the surface and rolling into the drink.

"There is a lot of time tomorrow morning, but I will be busy with packing and everything to keep myself occupied", Simpson said.



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