Final Round Preview – PGA Tour – THE PLAYERS Championship – TPC Sawgrass – Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida –
At 2:35 p.m. local time in Ponte Verda Beach, Florida, Martin Kaymer and Jordan Spieth tee off at TPC Sawgrass in the final pairing of THE PLAYERS championship with a life-changing golf opportunity ahead of them.
The 29-year-old German Kaymer, a former World No. 1, is winless since 2011 at the World Golf Championship – HSBC Champions. At 12-under, Kaymer sleeps on the 54-hole co-lead for the first time in his PGA Tour career.
Kaymer was even-par Saturday in the final pairing with Spieth. The duo fended off contenders during Moving Day and has a three-shot head start on Sergio Garcia and John Senden with 18 holes to play.
Both Garcia and Senden won earlier this season – Garcia at the Qatar Masters on the European Tour and Senden in Tampa at the Valsar Championship. At 9-under, both play the role of chasers on Sunday. Garcia , the 2008 champion here, was in position to win this title last year tied for the lead at the 71st hole before finding water and finishing T-8.
Garcia could be the one to rise to the situation in this position as a chaser. He was a 25-to-1 betting pick at www.ladbrokes.com heading into the week.
Facing a clubhouse leader as the final pairing reaches No. 17 would create some drama.
Matt Jones, George McNeill and Gary Woodland – all PGA Tour champions – are 8-under and four back. U.S. Open champion Justin Rose is only five back at 7-under and T-8 with Lee Westwood at 7-under.
For the 2010 PGA Championship winner, Kaymer has a major title and a World Golf Championship on his resume that features 10 European Tour victories. That experience should bode well for the man looking to add a PLAYERS Championship to his profile.
His opening-round 63 has the 80-1 betting selection in position to win if he can hold off Spieth.
Spieth ranked 7th in the world has the most upside with a chance at becoming the youngest winner (20 years, nine months) ever at this tournament and during in his first appearance. Spieth was T-2 at Augusta after faulting on the back nine.
Seven of the last 12 champions at THE PLAYERS have been international-born competitors. And, just three of the last 18 players leading through 54 holes have shot sub-70 rounds on the final day.
Other Golf News:
- After opening with 77, Adam Scott worked his way back into a chance to overtake Tiger Woods as the World No. 1. Scott was T-28 through three round and two shots back to a two-way tie for 16th –which would earn him enough points to become No. 1.
- Rose had 2-shot penalty on the 18th Saturday erased by the PGA Tour Sunday before the final round. The U.S. Open champion now moves back into the mix at T-8.
- Spieth is bogey-free through 54 holes and has a runner-up finish earlier this year in Hawaii. He was 5th in the WGC-Match Play en route to five Top 10s in 2014.
- Henrik Stenson, T-13 at 5-under, is in the mix for World No. 1. He needs to finish in a two-way tie for 6th or better to claim the top spot. Bubba Watson, the Masters champion, also has a shot. He needs solo second to become No. 1. He enters the final round at T-13 and seven back of the leaders.