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McGirt and Hughes lead Players Championship as Garcia aces 17th

21 Mai 2017

Ian Poulter is just three shots off the lead heading into the final round of The Players Championship as Sergio Garcia stormed into contention on day three at TPC Sawgrass.

Pavon was one under par after nine holes when the first round was suspended and when play resumed at 8.30am yesterday, he made four birdies on the back nine to post a bogey-free 68.

McGirt's round didn't hit a bump until the back nine when he bogeyed the 10th.

The world number six bounced back from a bogey on the first with birdies on the fourth, sixth and ninth, while a bogey on the 10th was followed by a hat-trick of birdies from the 11th and an eagle on the par-five 16th.

The BMW PGA Championship takes place in a fortnight's time and has a prize fund of £5.4million as the first event of the European Tour's Rolex Series.

"I just had good numbers at a good time and made a good swing at a good time", McGirt said.

"There's just not really a moment where you can let up", Hughes said.

"I was up in the clouds", he said. "I hit a lot of fairways today and I'm starting to hit it a lot closer with the irons", said Day.

It was another fast start for McGirt, who opened the Masters with a 69 to be second after the opening round before ultimately finishing tied for 22nd. He is also a one-time victor, capturing the 2017 RSM Classic in October.

Day seemed well on his way to leading The Players for a fifth consecutive round (he was the first wire-to-wire victor since Hal Sutton in 2000 last year) when he was 5-under with four holes to play.

And right behind them was Masters champion Sergio Garcia, who was 4 over through six holes in the opening round and began his recovery project with a hole-in-one on the infamous 17th. "But I scrambled pretty well, and I birdied two of the last three holes to make it somewhat respectable". McGirt followed that up with another eagle on the 16th after a lovely second shot got him to within 10 feet of the cup. It's been a busy week and at the beginning I wasn't really in the tournament. I hit some good shots then I would lip-out the putt.

"So it might just be a flare-up of what happened previously and I just need to rest for a few days and it might be OK".

Course architect Pete Dye has always loved to keep players on edge, but at the new, improved Stadium Course, the best golfers in the world sounded less comfortable than ever. "But I'm okay with the round".

Phil Mickelson decided on a novel approach to this year's Players Championship after missing the cut the past four years.

Adam Scott had a one-shot lead when he finished with a pair of double bogeys. Dustin Johnson's first wedge of the day hit the pin, caromed off the green and led to bogey. Jordan Spieth opened with a 73, including a double bogey on the first hole (his 10th) when he became so frustrated by a poorly-raked bunker that he took a picture of it.

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McGirt and Hughes lead Players Championship as Garcia aces 17th