Players Championship 2014: Day 3 Leaderboard Scores, Analysis and Highlights

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Players Championship 2014: Day 3 Leaderboard Scores, Analysis and Highlights
USA Today

Martin Kaymer and Jordan Spieth continue their duel on top of the leaderboard and remain the top contenders through the third round at the Players Championship.

Kaymer and Spieth each finished at 12-under and share a three stroke lead over the rest of the field.

Sergio Garcia and John Senden will get the second pairing after going into the clubhouse at nine-under. While the rest of the field will have a hard time catching up, there are still plenty of other contenders heading into the final round of the tournament. 

Here is a look at the leaderboard through three rounds in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.:

Kaymer stumbled slightly early on with a bogey on No. 4, but followed that up with two more birdies on the front nine. He was steady after that, but a few poor shots on No. 18 led to a bogey, which forced him to come back down to a tie with Spieth.

Still, Stephanie Wei of Sports Illustrated noted the impressive swing on display for Kaymer:

After the round the veteran discussed the keys for the final day, via Chris Parenteau of WJXT:

The reason he did not pull away completely was that Spieth seemingly could do no wrong. He continued his bogey-free performance, showcasing his confidence on the course according to Kelly Tilghman of Golf Channel:

Considering he is just 20 years old, this is truly incredible. Here is a look at his only non-par from the day, a birdie on No. 11:

Garcia also remains in contention for his second title at the Players, but he had a disappointing finish due to a bogey on No. 17. While he did not hit it into the water like in the fourth round last year, he needed a three-putt to get it into the hole. Shane Bacon of Yahoo joked about his troubles on the hole:

Then again, Garcia remains in much better shape than Russell Henley. Henley came into the day in third place but shot an eight-over 80 and is now out of contention.

Justin Rose is much closer to the leaders at seven-under, but he turned heads with a strange 11th hole that featured some interesting club choices:

There are also a number of big names who might not be able to get to the top spot, but are still hoping to sneak into the top 10 by the end of the weekend.

Matt Kuchar and Bubba Watson each sit at five-under, but they took very different paths to get there. Kuchar was his usually steady self with no bogeys and three birdies to post a 69 on Saturday. His best shot was this long putt for birdie on No. 13:

Meanwhile, Watson was all over the place in Round 3. A double bogey and a bogey caused him to start his day three-over, but he calmed down with a few birdies on the front nine. He finished his day with seven birdies, three bogeys and a double to end the day with a 70.

Rory McIlroy was just as wild in his third round after barely making the cut after 36 holes. At one point he was four-over par for the tournament before earning seven birdies in his final 12 holes. For the week, he is nine-over on the front nine and 12-under on the back.

Still, the young player was satisfied with his showing despite the score, via Brian Wacker of PGATour.com:

I felt like I wasn't playing as badly as the score was suggesting today. I'd hit five greens in seven holes, and I was 4‑over par. I hadn't really done much wrong. I had three really big lip‑outs on the front nine, but it was nice to see a putt go in on 7, holed one from off the green, which was a bonus. I was in a decent frame of mind going into the back nine.

This inconsistency has been a problem all season, but he is usually able to finish tournaments well. If he can focus better during the first few holes on Sunday, he certainly has a chance to get himself into the top 10.

Adam Scott will also try to move up the leaderboard after shooting three-under in the first three rounds. If he can get to the top 16, he will become the No. 1 player in the world, according to Kyle Porter of CBS Sports.

Each of these players have a strong chance to move up on Sunday, but it will be difficult to catch the current leaders. Kaymer, Spieth and Garcia have had fantastic tournaments to this point and look ready to continue on Day 4.

While the pressure is certain to kick in for the final 18 holes, there is no reason to expect anything but a fantastic finish at TPC Sawgrass.

 

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