All he had to do was navigate the shortest and scariest hole Friday afternoon on the Stadium Course. At this point it's fun, I have nothing to lose, I was 14 back starting today and anything inside a top 10 is an incredible feat over the weekend from that far back.
"It was a nice bonus on 11 and nice one on 18 to finish off the round".
Dustin Johnson at least improved his chances of staying for No. 1 with four birdies over his final 10 holes for a 69. His shot from the back bunker on the par-5 11th raced across the green and into the hole for an eagle.
The 32-year-old Simpson has history on his side: No one has ever lost a 7-shot lead in the final round in PGA Tour history.
Lee puts the success down to his putting, now sitting second in putts per green in regulation for the tournament. "That's not the start I wanted to have and unfortunately kind of went the rest of the day the same way". "Today was more 'I'm in the lead, I'm in the last group.' You have to hit shots and putts".
Simpson was on the verge of smashing the mark after reeling off six straight birdies, but he came to grief with a double bogey at the island-green par-three 17th.
However, the former US Open champion then double-bogeyed the 17th after his tee shot hit the wooden sleepers which form the edge of the green, bounced on to the putting surface and into the water.
"Just the wrong club", Simpson rued, but he had a handy consolation prize - going five shots clear atop the leaderboard at 15-under par.
Jordan Spieth also shot 65 - leaving the two Americans eight-under, at 208, through 54 holes. I'm trying to just look forward, do what I always do on a Saturday night of a golf tournament and get ready tomorrow morning. "I feel like I've got my finger on something right now, and hopefully we can ride it forever".
This kind of day seemed impossible only 18 hours before, as Woods scuffled to a 1-under after his second round and almost got sent home, making the cut on the number.
Woods relished this Sawgrass Saturday just as much as those desperate for the 14-times major victor to approach anything like his former self.
He shot a three-under 69 to lie just a shot behind Spain's Adri Arnaus on five-under-par with Ballymena's Dermot McElroy seven behind after a 75. "Eventually I'm going to put all of the pieces together, and today for the most part I did that".
"I will probably need a top 10 this week and next to get myself into the US Open, but if I can swing it the way I did the first two rounds this week it's definitely within my reach".
Woods carded two birdies and one bogey in a second round of 71 to finish one under par, with the projected cut fluctuating between one and two under. Other than Simpson, few players were able to make any meaningful movements, as evidenced by the fact that when Woods signed his scorecard before the leaders had even teed off he was in eighth place.
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