Third-Round Notes – Saturday, May 13, 2017
Weather: Overcast with showers in the morning. SW wind 15-25 mph with a high of 84.
J.B. Holmes 68-69-70—207 (-9)
Kyle Stanley 69-66-72—207 (-9)
Louis Oosthuizen 69-66-73—208 (-8)
Si Woo Kim 69-72-68—209 (-7)
Emiliano Grillo 72-71-67—210 (-6)
Ian Poulter 72-67-71—210 (-6)
With more than 78 players (82 at 2-over 144) making the 36-hole cut on Friday, a 54-hole cut to the low 70 and ties was made with 71 players at 5-over or better advancing to Sunday’s final round.
It marks the third time in the last 10 editions of THE PLAYERS where a 54-hole cut was required. In 2014, 82 players made the 36-hole cut before the field was reduced to 71 players after Saturday. In 2009, the field of 83 was reduced to 71 following the 54-hole cut.
Friday’s 36-hole cut of 2-over 146 was the highest at THE PLAYERS since 2008 when the cut came at 4-over 148.
With rounds of 68-69-70, J.B. Holmes is the only player in the field to card three rounds under par.
Holmes is playing in his 11th PLAYERS Championship. The four-time PGA TOUR winner enjoyed a solid streak from 2007-2011, where he only finished outside of the top 20 once. Since then, he has three missed cuts and a T51 leading into this week.
Of the six times Holmes has held at least a share of the 54-hole lead, he has gone on to win three times. Most recently, he led by five shots after three rounds at the 2015 WGC-Mexico Championship, when the event was played at Doral. He went on to shoot a final-round 75 and finished second.
The last time he converted a 54-hole lead into victory was at the 2014 Wells Fargo Championship. He led by one shot after 54 holes and went on to win by one after shooting a final-round 71.
When Holmes has been a third-round leader, he has carded an under-par final round two out of six times. His lowest final-round score in this situation was a 66 at the 2006 Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Should he go on to win, Holmes would be 35 years, 18 days old. It would be his fifth victory in his 258th start on TOUR.
Holmes previously led THE PLAYERS after 18 holes in 2010 when he opened with a 6-under 66, his lowest score in 35 rounds at TPC Sawgrass. He went on to finish T13 that year.
Holmes’ one top-10 finish this season came at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, a T5 with partner Bubba Watson. His best finish this season in an individual event was a tie for 12th at the WGC-Mexico Championship.
Kyle Stanley, the 36-hole co-leader, posted even-par 72 to share the 54-hole lead with J.B. Holmes. Stanley is making his fourth start in THE PLAYERS, where has made three of four cuts. His best finish came in 2013 (T33).
Stanley has held the 54-hole lead on one other occasion. He led by five strokes entering the final round of the 2012 Farmers Insurance Open, but eventually lost in a playoff after he made a triple bogey on the final hole of regulation.
Should he go on to win, Stanley would be 29 years, 5 months, 25 days old. It would be his second victory in his 174th start on TOUR.
Stanley is in search of his second career PGA TOUR victory and first since the 2012 Waste Management Phoenix Open. His best finish in 14 starts this season is a T7 at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, his first top-10 finish on the PGA TOUR since a T8 at the 2014 Barracuda Championship.
Stanley has birdied the par-3 17th hole each of the first three rounds. Paul Azinger, in 1987, is the only player to birdie No. 17 all four rounds in the tournament.
The 29-year-old Washington state native and Clemson product entered the final event of the 2015-16 season at No. 127 in the FedExCup standings. He posted four rounds in the 60s at the Wyndham Championship to finish T14, move to No. 116 in the standings and advance to the FedExCup Playoffs, earning him a spot in THE PLAYERS field.
Third-Round Lead Notes
19 of 43 third-round leaders/co-leaders have gone on to win THE PLAYERS Championship, including Jason Day in 2016.
10 of the 25 third-round leaders/co-leaders on the PGA TOUR this season have been able to convert
for the win in stroke-play events, most recently Kevin Chappell at the Valero Texas Open.
The last time THE PLAYERS had co-leaders through 54 holes was 2014 when Martin Kaymer and Jordan Spieth were tied at 12-under. Kaymer went on to win by one stroke over Jim Furyk.
The last time there were co-leaders through 54-holes on the PGA TOUR was last month’s Masters Tournament when Sergio Garcia and Justin Rose were tied heading into the final round.
Jason Day led by four strokes after three rounds before winning THE PLAYERS last year.
In search of his second PGA TOUR victory and first since the 2010 Open Championship, Louis Oosthuizen, the second-round co-leader shot a 1-over 73 to sit one back headed into the final round at THE PLAYERS Championship. This is Oosthuizen’s seventh appearance at THE PLAYERS with his best finish, T19, coming in 2013.
Should he go on to win, Oosthuizen would be 34 years, 6 months, 25 days old. It would be his second victory in his 127th start on TOUR.
A win at THE PLAYERS would make Oosthuizen the 10th champion who has also won The Open Championship. Among that group, he would join Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods as those who claimed victories at St. Andrews.
Playing in his 10th event this season, Oosthuizen has yet to miss a cut with his best finish, a solo third, coming at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, where he shot 65 in the final round. The last time Oosthuizen missed a cut on the PGA TOUR was last year’s Open Championship, a current streak of 15 consecutive made cuts.
At No. 7 in the International Presidents Cup standings, Oosthuizen is in position for his third consecutive appearance in the Presidents Cup, where the South African owns an overall record of 5-3-2.
Si Woo Kim
Si Woo Kim sits fourth through 54 holes and seeks his second win on TOUR. With rounds of 68-70-72-74—284 (-4), Kim finished T23 in his debut at THE PLAYERS last year.
Kim’s first PGA TOUR victory came at last season’s Wyndham Championship in his 38th PGA TOUR start. He also owns five additional top-10 finishes in 60 career starts on TOUR. His lone top-10 this season is T10 at the CIMB Classic.
A player of Korean-descent has won on TOUR every year since 2005. Kim was the eighth Korean-born player to win on the PGA TOUR, joining K.J. Choi (8), Y.E. Yang (2), Sangmoon Bae (2), James Hahn (2), Kevin Na (1), Seung-Yul Noh (1), Danny Lee (1).
Si Woo Kim will turn 22 on June 28 this year. A player of Korean-descent in their 20s has won on the PGA TOUR each of the last six seasons:
Anthony Kim (2010 Shell Houston Open/24 years, 9 months, 16 days)
Kevin Na (2011 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open/28 years, 17 days)
John Huh (2012 OHL Classic at Mayakoba/21 years, 9 months, 5 days)
Sangmoon Bae – 1 (2013 AT&T Byron Nelson/26 years, 10 months, 29 days)
Seung-Yul Noh (2014 Zurich Classic of New Orleans/22 years, 10 months, 29 days)
Sangmoon Bae – 2 (2014 Safeway Open/28 years, 3 months, 21 days)
Danny Lee – (2015 The Greenbrier Classic/24 years, 11 months, 11 days)
Si Woo Kim – (2016 Wyndham Championship/21 years, 1 month, 24 days)
Si Woo Kim finished T20 at the 2012 PGA TOUR Qualifying Tournament at PGA West in Palm Springs at the age of 17 years, 5 months, 6 days, making him the youngest player to graduate from Qualifying School. Kim’s rookie season on the PGA TOUR was in 2013, but only made eight starts because he did not turn 18 until June 28. Kim returned back to Web.com Tour until he locked up his PGA TOUR Card for the 2015-16 PGA TOUR Season by finishing 23rd on the 2015 Web.com Tour priority list.
Kim won the 2015 Stonebrae Classic on the Web.com Tour.
Emiliano Grillo hit 10 of 14 fairways and 14 of 18 greens and took 28 putts to shoot 5-under 67, including an inward nine of 32 (-4), to move from T34 to T5.
Grillo has made the cut in 13 of this 14 starts this season. He has two top-10s, the best being a T7 finish at the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard. He is currently 70th in the FedExCup standings.
Grillo missed the cut (71-75) in his PLAYERS Championship debut last year.
Grillo, voted Rookie of the Year for the 2015-16 PGA TOUR Season, won the 2015 Safeway Open in his first start as an official PGA TOUR member, and since then he has only missed four cuts in 39 starts. In all, he has made 41 of 46 cuts since he played his first TOUR event in 2012.
This week, he is third in Strokes Gained: Off the Tee (4.558) and eighth in Strokes Gained: Tee to Green (8.079). On the season, he ranks 41st and 31st in these categories, respectively.
As a junior golfer, Grillo played in the AJGA’s Junior PLAYERS Championship twice. In 2010, he and Jordan Spieth finished tied for second behind winner Michael Johnson, who is currently playing on the Web.com Tour.
Grillo is one of 11 players who played in the American Junior Golf Association’s Junior PLAYERS Championship which began in 2007. Nine of the 11 players made the cut this week, with Jordan Spieth and Patrick Rodgers being the only two that did not advance to the weekend.
Emiliano Grillo T5
Patrick Cantlay T7
Smylie Kaufman T31
Brooks Koepka T16
Daniel Berger T44
Blayne Barber T44
Michael Kim T54
Justin Thomas MDF
Grayson Murray MDF
Ian Poulter is on a streak of 28 consecutive holes without a bogey, as he turned in the only bogey-free round Saturday and he didn’t record a bogey over his final 10 holes Friday. In this span, he has one birdie, one eagle and 26 pars, and he has hit 20 of 28 greens in regulation.
Poulter has played in every PLAYERS Championship since 2004. In his 13 previous starts, he has made 10 cuts and his best finish was second place in 2010.
In 11 starts this season, his best finish is a tie for 11th at the RBC Heritage. He is currently No. 134 in the FedExCup standings.
Prior to the Zurich Classic, it was determined that a change to the requirements for Major Medical Extensions gave Poulter enough FedExCup points to retain full status for the remainder of the 2016-17 season and earn a start in THE PLAYERS field.
Sweden’s Alex Noren shot 72 and sits T7 at 5-under. Noren, a 34-year-old native of Stockholm, Sweden, was one stroke off the lead heading into last week’s Wells Fargo Championship and fired a final-round 77 to finish T31.
Noren picked up four of his eight international victories on the European Tour in 2016, most recently at the Nedbank Golf Challenge.
Noren is making his seventh start on the PGA TOUR during the 2016-17 Season, with a T5 at the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play his best finish.
Noren is seeking to become the 10th winner from Sweden on the PGA TOUR. Countryman Jonas Blixt teamed with Aussie Cameron Smith to win the Zurich Classic of New Orleans two weeks ago.
PGA TOUR winners from Sweden: Jesper Parnevik (5), Carl Pettersson (5), Henrik Stenson (5), Jonas Blixt (3), Gabriel Hjertstedt (2), Daniel Chopra (2), Freddie Jacobson (1), Richard S. Johnson (1), David Lingmerth (1).
Noren, who is No. 13 in the Official World Golf Ranking, is not a member of the PGA TOUR. At No. 9 in the Non-Member FedExCup standings, Noren has 206 points and needs to finish a tie for fifth or higher to earn at least 113 points as he attempts to earn Special Temporary Membership on the PGA TOUR.
Following rounds of 73-71, 2008 PLAYERS champion and current Masters champion Sergio Garcia made a move with a 5-under 67 in the third round. Garcia mixed three bogeys, with six birdies and an eagle, at the par-5 16th hole, to move into T7.
Garcia’s best 18-hole score at THE PLAYERS is 7-under 65 (twice, R2/2013, R4/2011).
Garcia’s first-round 73, which included a 4-over 40 on his opening nine holes, is his highest opening round at THE PLAYERS since a 73 in 2012. He also aced No. 17 (52 degree wedge from 122 yards) in the first round, marking the eighth hole-in-one at No. 17 in tournament history.
In 17 previous starts at THE PLAYERS, Garcia has a victory (2008) and five additional top-10 finishes in 2002 (T4), 2007 (2), 2013 (T8), 2014 (3) and 2015 (T2). Garcia is seeking to become the seventh player to win THE PLAYERS more than once—Jack Nicklaus (3), Fred Couples (2), Davis Love III (2), Hal Sutton (2), Steve Elkington (2) and Tiger Woods (2).
Garcia owns the longest active-cuts-made streak at THE PLAYERS with 14 in a row, dating to a T53 finish in 2004.
With $5,253,948, Garcia has earned the most money of any player at THE PLAYERS Championship.
In his first appearance at THE PLAYERS Patrick Cantlay sits T7 at 5-under. Should Cantlay win this week, he would join Craig Perks (2002) and Tim Clark (2010) as the only players to make THE PLAYERS their first PGA TOUR victory.
Cantlay, a PGA TOUR rookie, is currently No. 42 in the FedExCup standings with three other rookies ahead of him.
Cantlay, 24, was the number one golfer in the World Amateur Golf Ranking for 55 weeks. He finished in the top-25 of his first four PGA TOUR events as an amateur in 2011, including being the low amateur at the 2011 U.S. Open. The following week, he shot the lowest round in PGA TOUR history by an amateur, a course record 60 at the Travelers Championship. In 2012, Cantlay decided to forgo his final two years of college (UCLA) to turn professional. Since then, he’s made 25 more PGA TOUR starts while posting a best finish of runner-up at the 2017 Valspar Championship.
At the 2013 DEAN & DELUCA Invitational he was forced to withdraw due to a back injury, later diagnosed as a stress fracture. He tried to play through the injury but it flared up again at the 2014 OHL Classic at Mayakoba. Cantlay had 10 events this season to earn 389 FedExCup points or $624,746 to clear the top finishers from Web.com Tour Medical category and successfully met those requirements with the runner-up finish at the Valspar Championship in his second start this season.
Cantlay also has a victory on the Web.com Tour (2013 Colombia Championship) where he’s played 13 events.
After making the cut on the number and starting the third round in T66 position, Pat Perez posted a 6-under 66 almost three hours before the leaders teed off to sit T10 and five back headed into the final round. Perez made seven birdies before holing a 6-foot putt for bogey on the final hole.
The largest come-from-behind victory at TPC Sawgrass is five strokes (Justin Leonard/1998, Henrik Stenson/2009).
Should Perez go on to win, the progression from T66 at 2-over on the cutline after 36 holes would be the greatest in tournament history. Tim Clark won THE PLAYERS in 2010 after sitting T23 following the second round. The last player to win on TOUR after making the cut on the number was Brandt Snedeker at the 2016 Farmers Insurance Open.
The 66 is the lowest round Perez has recorded in 43 trips around the Stadium Course and just his fifth sub-70 round in 14 starts at THE PLAYERS.
Perez, who won the OHL Classic at Mayakoba earlier this season, came to THE PLAYERS in good form having finished T2 at last week’s Wells Fargo Championship. His lone top-10 in 13 previous starts at THE PLAYERS is T3 in 2006.
Additional Player Notes
No. 4 in the FedExCup standings Jon Rahm, who sat T10 after two rounds and was considered an early favorite before the championship began, was 7-over after seven holes in the third round. Rahm posted a 10-over 82 to finish 6-over and miss the 54-hole cut by a stroke.
Matt Kuchar, THE PLAYERS champion in 2012, recorded a quintuple-bogey 9 on the par-4 14th hole in a third-round 81. Since joining the TOUR in 2001, Kuchar’s previous high score on a hole was 8 (three times, 13th/R4/1999 Masters, 9th/R1/2004 Baraccuda Championship, 2nd/R4/2008 Sony Open in Hawaii).
The eight Jacksonville residents who began the tournament this week were seeking to join three who have already claimed THE PLAYERS Championship title – Mark McCumber (1988), David Duval (1999) and Fred Funk (2005). Only David Lingmerth and Vijay Singh advanced to the weekend.
Jacksonville residents leaderboard:
Cameron Smith, Jim Furyk, Matt Every, Billy Horschel, Russell Knox and Jonas Blixt all missed the 36-hole cut.
Morgan Stanley will make a donation of $5,000 to Ronald McDonald House Family Room at Wolfson’s Children’s Hospital for every eagle made at THE PLAYERS Championship (Thursday–Sunday). Through the third round 28 eagles were made totaling $140,000.
Nine players who have won THE PLAYERS are participating this week. Here’s a look at where they stand through 54 holes:
Rickie Fowler 2015 72 T25
Martin Kaymer 2014 75 T54
Henrik Stenson 2009 74 T25
Sergio Garcia 2008 67 T7
Last year, the field made 40 triple bogeys or worse at THE PLAYERS, the third most in the 2015-16 season. The field has already surpassed that total this year, as 46 triple bogeys or worse have been recorded through three rounds. So far during the 2016-17 season, the highest total is 34 triple bogeys or worse at the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard.
Entering Sunday’s final round, seven foreign countries are represented in the top-10. Since 1982, the most foreign countries represented in the top-10 at the conclusion of the tournament is six, which has happened on six occasions (2015, 2014, 2013, 2010, 2009, 2006). In 2006, a record eight foreign players finished in the top-10 (13 total players were in the top-10). Since 1982, only once has the top-10 featured all Americans (1990).
R1 – Alex Noren (68), Mackenzie Hughes (67), Jon Rahm (68), Lee Westwood (70).
R2 – Smylie Kaufman (67), Louis Oosthuizen (66).
R3 – Ian Poulter (71).
46 players went for the green (hit 3-wood or driver) on the par-4 12th hole in round two compared to 26 in round one and 39 in round two. Some players attempted to hit the green using irons off the tee. Eleven players hit the green on Saturday, with Cody Gribble making the lone eagle in round three from 7 feet, 5 inches.
There were 10 balls in the water at the par-3 17th hole Saturday. Here’s a list of balls in the water on the 17th hole:
|Year||Round 1||Round 2||Round 3||Round 4||Cumulative|
|2011||12||14||8||6 (in regulation)||40|
|2008||20||18||10||16 (in regulation)||64|
Scoring Averages at the par-72 TPC Sawgrass:
Front 9 Back 9 Total Cumulative
Thursday 36.764 36.056 72.819 —
Friday 36.371 36.811 73.182 73.001
Saturday 37.134 36.902 74.037 73.346