Jordan Spieth fired a one-under-par 71 on Saturday to join Martin Kaymer atop the leaderboard after three rounds of the US PGA Tour’s Players Championship in Florida.
Germany’s Kaymer dropped into a tie for the lead with a bogey at the par-four 18th on the TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course in Ponte Vedra Beach, carding an even-par 72 for a 12-under total of 204.
The leading duo were three strokes ahead of Spain’s Sergio Garcia and Australian John Senden.
Garcia, the 2008 winner, fired a three-under-par 69, Senden posted a 68 and Aussie Matt Jones and George McNeill both posted 69s to share fifth place with Gary Woodland, who carded a 70 for 208.
Italy’s Francesco Molinari matched the low round of the day with his five-under 67. He was joined in eighth place on 209 by Canadian David Hearn (68) and England’s Lee Westwood (71).
Three of the four players who have a chance to usurp Tiger Woods atop the world rankings — Henrik Stenson, Bubba Watson and Matt Kuchar — were among a group of 11 players sharing 13th on 211.
Sweden’s Stenson posted a 70, as did Masters champion Watson of the US, while fellow American Kuchar carded a 69.
Stenson, ranked third in the world, could topple Woods, who has been idled by injury, if he posted a top-six finish yesterday.
Watson needs a runner-up finish, while Kuchar needs a victory in the US$10 million tournament to have a chance at the No. 1 ranking.
World No. 2 Adam Scott of Australia kept his hopes of move to top spot for the first time alive with a third-round 69 that left him tied for 28th on 213.
Scott would have needed a top-16 finish yesterday to dethrone Woods and said it might be possible with a relatively early tee time in the fourth round.
“I’ll be off fairly early probably again and try and sneak up there as high as I possibly can. You never know what’s going to happen out here,” Scott said.