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Ponte Vedra Beach, FL (Sports Network) - Tim Clark captured his first career PGA Tour win in his 206th start, firing a five-under 67 in the final round of The Players Championship on Sunday to beat Robert Allenby by a stroke.
Clark was one of only two players to break 70 during a difficult final round at Sawgrass. He collected all five of his birdies in a six-hole stretch around the turn to take the lead, then held on with gutsy shots down the stretch.
The 34-year-old South African posted a 16-under 272.
"I just hoped it would happen someday. I just came out on the golf course and showed what I can do," said Clark.
Allenby, who was chasing his first PGA Tour win in nine years, shot a 70 and finished alone in second place at 15-under 273.
Allenby's 11-foot birdie putt at the 17th hole turned away at the last moment and he couldn't birdie the 18th to tie Clark. The 38-year-old Australian has now gone 223 starts since winning his fourth PGA Tour title in 2001.
Lee Westwood was also looking to end a winless streak. The 37-year-old Englishman, without a PGA Tour win since 1998, dumped a ball in the water at the 17th and finished four shots back after a 74.
You can view the entire leaderboard at PGATOUR.com.
Tim Clark put himself in position to win the Players Championship by shooting a 6-under Round 3, and through his first ten holes of Round 4, he's making the most of it.
The South African just recorded birdies in four of the last five holes, tying him for the lead with Lee Westwood at 15-under. Robert Allenby is one stroke behind.
Clark missed the cut at the 2010 Masters, and though he's won a handful of European tournaments, the 34-year-old does not have a single PGA Tour win.
Early in the fourth round of the Players Championship, Robert Allenby has taken sole possession of the tournament lead from Lee Westwood.
Both players bogeyed the first hole, but Allenby eagled the second and birdied the fourth to take a one-stroke lead.
Allenby has four career PGA Tour wins, but none since 2001.
Early in Round 4 at TPC Sawgrass, the best golf is being played by one Scott Verplank. He's steadily improved throughout the Players Championship, having posted a 1-under in Round 1, a 2-under in Round 2, and a 3-under in Round 3. Naturally, Verplank has a 4-under through the first twelve holes of Round 4.
Currently, he's tied for ninth place. He's only four strokes off the lead at this point, but since the eight golfers ahead of him are just now starting to hit the course, he isn't likely to advance more than a couple more places.
Here are the tee times for the players near the top of the leaderboard entering Round 4 at TPC Sawgrass:
12:40 - Luke Donald, Chris Couch
12:50 - Davis Love III, Ryan Moore
1:01 - Paul Goydos, Fredrik Jacobson
1:12 - Andres Romero, Nick Watney
1:23 - Jimmy Walker, Fred Funk
1:34 - John Rollins, Bill Haas
1:45 - Phil Mickelson, Zach Johnson
1:56 - Bo Van Pelt, Heath Slocum
2:07 - Charley Hoffman, Tim Clark
2:18 - Chris Stroud, Francesco Molinari
2:29 - Ben Crane, Lucas Glover
2:40 - Lee Westwood, Robert Allenby
Heath Slocum, Robert Allenby, and Ben Crane claimed shares of the lead late in Round 3 of the Players Championship, but entering the final round, Lee Westwood still stands alone on top.
Westwood made a remarkable recovery shot to avert disaster on the 18th hole. His 2-under for the day was enough for the Englishman to hold a one-stroke lead over a crowded field.
After shooting 5-under on Saturday, Robert Allenby trails Westwood at -13. He shot up the scoreboard late in the day after a 16th-round eagle and a birdie on the dreaded 17th hole.
The biggest charges were made by Chris Stroud, Tim Clark, Phil Mickelson, and Fred Funk, who each shot 6-under in Round 3. Clark moved up 17 places on the leaderboard, thanks in part to an eagle on the sixth hole. Funk played consistently well until late, when he bogeyed the 14th and 15th holes. He made up for these struggles with an eagle on the 16th to tie for 15th place entering the tournament's final round.
In case you're curious, noted golfing enthusiast Tiger Woods shot 1-under for the day. He now stands at 4-under for the tournament, ten strokes behind the lead.
This is the view from the top of the standings:
1. Lee Westwood (-14)
2. Robert Allenby (-13)
T3. Ben Crane (-12)
T3. Lucas Glover
T3. Francesco Molinari
T6. Chris Stroud (-11)
T6. Tim Clark
T6. Charley Hoffman
T6. Heath Slocum
10. Bo Van Pelt (-10)
The already-crowded top of the 2010 Players Championship is getting even more claustrophobic. As of this writing, the top nine players are separated by just two strokes.
Robert Allenby suddenly has a share of the lead after following up a 16th-hole eagle with a birdie on the infamous 17th hole. Entering the final hole, he has a 5-under score through Round 3 and a 13-under for the tournament.
The 38-year-old Allenby has won four PGA Tournaments, but none since 2001.
After the front nine of Round 3 at TPC Sawgrass, Heath Slocum has crept into a share of the lead. At the moment, Slocum holds a 1-under for the round, good enough to knot him at -13 overall with Lee Westwood.
The 36-year-old Slocum has three career PGA Tour wins under his belt.
Chris Stroud had an excellent Round 3 at TPC Sawgrass, and as a consequence, he's right near the top of the leaderboard. Stroud committed only one bogey and shot seven birdies -- including three consecutive birdies on the 10th, 11th, and 12th holes.
As he headed to the clubhouse on Saturday, Stroud held sole possession of third place at 11-under, two strokes behind tournament leader Lee Westwood. After finishing up Round 3, Phil Mickelson speculated that those playing late Saturday, given the changing conditions, may have more trouble than the early players had, so an 11-under score may look even better by the end of Round 3.
When Tiger Woods walked up to the dreaded 17th at TPC Sawgrass, he was smiling. It was nice. We haven't seen much of that lately. Right before he stepped up to the tee, an alligator surfaced from the water -- the cameras didn't catch this, but apparently its jaws were wide open.
So that happened. Tiger's shot made it to the island, but a little further from the hole than he would have liked. So, of course, he dropped an F-bomb on the live broadcast.
These two happenings share absolutely no correlation with each other. I just really wanted to type that headline.
Anyway, on to the relevant information: Woods bogeyed the 17th hole. Heading to the 18th, he's now 2-under for the day and 5-under for the tournament.
Fred Funk has just completed his Round 3 of the Players Championship, and he enters Round 4 as a contender.
Through the middle of the round, Funk enjoyed a streak in which he birdied five of six holes. He suffered consecutive bogeys on the 14th and 15th, but rebounded with an eagle on the 16th.
The 16th at TPC Sawgrass has been kind to Funk this year; the American birdied the hole in the first two rounds before shooting his eagle on Saturday.
Funk won the Players Championship in 2005. He has eight total PGA Tour wins.
Tim Clark is off to what is arguably the hottest start of Round 3. After two decent rounds to begin the 2010 Players Championship, the South African is 5-under through 8 holes.
Clark scored birdies on the second, fourth, and seventh holes, and shot an eagle on the sixth. He's neck-and-neck on the leaderboard with Phil Mickelson, who has also shot far up the standings on Saturday.
Stay tuned for further updates. You can view the live leaderboard here.
Phil Mickelson woke up Saturday nine strokes behind the leader, Lee Westwood, but after shooting 5-under in the front nine, he's officially making a Round 3 charge. Mickelson, who won last month's Masters tournament after rallying past Westwood (among others), has scored five birdies and no bogeys so far in Round 3.
Entering Saturday, he had only birdied 6 of the first 36 holes of the Players Tournament.
At the 2010 Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass, Saturday's Round 3 Tee Times have been announced. The full schedule:
|8:45 am||Funk, Fred||Merrick, John|
|8:55 am||Furyk, Jim||Johnson, Dustin|
|9:05 am||McNeill, George||Couch, Chris|
|9:15 am||Prugh, Alex||Quiros, Alvaro|
|9:25 am||Overton, Jeff||Blanks, Kris|
|9:35 am||Flesch, Steve||Nitties, James|
|9:45 am||Sabbatini, Rory||Driscoll, James|
|9:55 am||Mickelson, Phil||Merritt, Troy|
|10:05 am||Ames, Stephen||Bohn, Jason|
|10:15 am||Kaymer, Martin||Austin, Woody|
|10:25 am||Weekley, Boo||Quigley, Brett|
|10:35 am||Verplank, Scott||Woods, Tiger|
|10:45 am||Karlsson, Robert||Cejka, Alex|
|10:55 am||Leonard, Justin||Johnson, Zach|
||Walker, Jimmy||Marino, Steve|
||Wilson, Oliver||Watney, Nick|
|11:25 am||Stroud, Chris||Estes, Bob|
|11:35 am||Curtis, Ben||Henry, J.J.|
||Kuchar, Matt||Romero, Andres|
|11:55 am||Clark, Tim||Matteson, Troy|
|12:05 pm||Thatcher, Roland||Jacobson, Fredrik|
|12:15 pm||Garcia, Sergio||Chalmers, Greg|
|12:25 pm||O'Hair, Sean||Mahan, Hunter|
|12:35 pm||Stadler, Kevin||Kelly, Jerry|
|12:45 pm||Scott, Adam||Holmes, J.B.|
|12:56 pm||Perry, Kenny||Levin, Spencer|
|1:07 pm||Goydos, Paul||Yang, Y.E.|
|1:18 pm||Moore, Ryan||McDowell, Graeme|
|1:29 pm||Haas, Bill||Choi, K.J.|
|1:40 pm||Rollins, John||Love III, Davis|
|1:51 pm||Donald, Luke||Van Pelt, Bo|
|2:02 pm||Hoffman, Charley||Crane, Ben|
|2:13 pm||Glover, Lucas||Allenby, Robert|
|2:24 pm||Molinari, Francesco||Slocum, Heath|
|2:35 pm||Westwood, Lee||Imada, Ryuji|
If you're not near a TV on Saturday, you can watch everything live on the PGA Tour's website.
For more on the happenings at TPC Sawgrass, check in with our golf blog, Waggle Room.
With Round 2 over, we know that for the fifth time in Players Championship history, the cut will be under par. Players had to shoot a 2-under score through Round 2 to reach Round 3 on Saturday.
Lee Westwood, who started strong at the Masters, is at it again at TPC Sawgrass. Westwood followed up a 5-under first round by shooting 7-under in the second, including an eagle at the 16th hole. Right behind him at 11-under are Japan's Ryuji Imada and Italy's Francesco Molinari.
Phil Mickelson, winner of the 2010 Masters, is tied for 46th at 3-under, as is noted golfing enthusiast Tiger Woods.
Henrik Stenson, the winner of the 2009 Players Championship, missed the cut after a 2-over Round 2.
Here's how the top of the leaderboard looks entering Round 3:
1. Lee Westwood (-12)
T2. Ryuji Imada (-11)
T2. Francesco Molinari
4. Heath Slocum (-10)
5. Lucas Glover (-9)
T6. Robert Allenby (-8)
T6. Charley Hoffman
T6. Ben Crane
With the afternoon groups just getting their second day started at The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass, Lee Westwood has climbed to the top of the leaderboard after a scintillating 7-under round of 65 brought him to 12-under on the tournament. Westwood notched six birdies and an eagle on the day (to go with a single bogey), as conditions at Sawgrass continue to be extremely conducive to low scoring.
Ryuji Imada and Francesco Molinari finished in a tie for second at 11-under, shooting 6 and 7-under respectively on the day. Defending U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover is alone in third place at 9-under after his own round of 7-under, while first-round co-leader Robert Allenby has sole possession of fourth place at 8-under on the tourney, followed by a host of golfers at 7-under.
Tiger Woods concluded a topsy-turvy round with seven consecutive pars to finish at 1-under for the day and 3-under for the tournament, meaning that he will indeed make the cut and keep playing during the weekend. Still, given how easy the course has played the past two days, Woods has missed a great opportunity to go low.
Phil Mickelson is among those who has just teed off to begin his second round, and is even through the first hole, staying steady at 2-under for the tournament, while first-round co-leader J.B. Holmes birdied his first hole to reach 7-under.
Check out the full leaderboard of The Players Championship here.
With the morning groups well into their second rounds at TPC Sawgrass, the scores continue to drop, and a new golfer has birdied his way to the top of the leaderboard: Ryan Moore. The 27-year old Moore has put on a clinic thus far, shooting 6-under on the day through 12 holes, to bring him to 11-under on the tournament. Moore's round began on the back nine, and has featured five birdies and an eagle so far, before giving a stroke back on his twelfth hole.
Japan's Ryuji Imada is building off his strong first-day with another round of 5-under through 15 holes, and is tied with Lee Westwood's, thanks to the Brits' own second round of 5-under through 11 holes. Francesco Mollinari is alone in third place at 9-under through 11 holes, with John Rollins alone in fourth at 8-under through 15 holes, and a pair of golfer behind at 7-under, including first-round co-leader Robert Allenby.
Meanwhile, noted golf enthusiast Tiger Woods has had an up-and-down round of 1-under through 13 holes, to bring him to 3-under overall. Woods has seen his round of five birdies marred by a pair of bogeys and a double-bogey, to keep him far back from contention (and following last week's second-round implosion at Quail Hollow, it might be worth noting that Woods is two shots ahead of the current projected cut).
First-round co-leader J.B. Holmes has yet to start his second day after shooting a 6-under 66 on Thursday, and will tee off from the tenth hole at 1:18 PM, while Phil Mickelson will get going at 1:28 PM on the front nine.
After the first round of play at the 2010 Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass, there is a pair of leaders: J.B. Holmes and Robert Allenby. Both shot a six-under 66, putting them one stroke ahead of a group of eight golfers sitting in a tie for second, including Ben Crane, Kenny Perry and Lee Westwood.
Allenby had sole possession of the lead earlier in the day, but bogeyed the eighth hole to fall back to six-under (he began his day on the front nine).
Meanwhile, Holmes was one of just many to take advantage of the perfect playing conditions on Thursday -- "Eighteen of the 72 players who teed off in the morning shot in the 60s."
Holmes finished off his round with a 20-foot birdie putt on the island-green 17th hole, where the pin was on the lower right portion of the green and easily accessible below the ridge. He did it the hard way with a slick putt, typical of his day.
"It was a fun day, one of those rounds were everything was going pretty good," Holmes said. "It's kind of one of those rounds where it' snot easy, but it felt pretty easy."
Everyone's favorite noted golfing enthusiast, Tiger Woods, ended his day at 2-under, four back from the leaders, which, considering his performance last weekend, made for a good afternoon.
Neither would happen after his tee ball on the always tough 18th found the water, and a bogey forced Woods to "settle" for a 2-under 70. Usually disappointed after a finish like that, Tiger has to be ecstatic that he managed to pull his game together long enough to get out of Thursday with a score.
Visit the complete leaderboard at The Players Championship here.
As the afternoon groups finish up their opening rounds at TPC Sawgrass, Australian Robert Allenby has emerged as the new leader at 7-under through 16 holes. Allenby has thus far recorded a bogey-free round, finishing his front nine at 4-under, then recording three consecutive birdies after the turn followed by a string of pars.
J.B. Holmes is alone in second place at 6-under, with six players two shots back at 5-under, including Lee Westwood and Luke Donald. Davis Love III and Kenny Perry headline a group of eleven golfers a shot behind that, at 4-under.
A host of big names aren't too far behind at 3-under, with Vijay Singh, Jim Furyk and K.J. Choi among them -- as well as one Eldrick Woods. Tiger got off to a slow, if solid, start, parring his first eight holes, before knocking in three birdies to sit at 3-under through 15 holes. With one more par-5 left, it's certainly possible that Woods could end his day even lower.
Among other notable names, Phil Mickelson shot a 2-under 70, and 20 year-old phenom Rory McIlroy has followed his record-setting -- and first career -- win at Quail Hollow last week with an even round through 16 (although McIlroy did nearly all of his damage on the wekeend at Quail Hollow, barely making the cut).
With the morning groups finished and the afternoon groups making their way at TPC Sawgrass, we have a new leader: J.B. Holmes, who sits in the clubhouse at 6-under. Holmes fired a bogey-free round of 66 that saw him finish with a flurry, notching birdies on three of the final five holes to grab the outright lead.
Luke Donald and Ben Crane led a group of five one shot back at 5-under, while a gaggle of golfers are two shots behind at 4-under. Among that group at 4-under are Bill Lunde, Ryuji Imada, Davis Love III, Kenny Perry and Robert Allenby -- all of whom are about halfway through their rounds.
Phil Mickelson wrapped up a 2-under round of 70, finishing with a pair of bogeys that dropped him down. Remember, if Mickelson manages to win The Players Championship and Tiger finishes out of the top-5, Lefty will supplant Woods as the top-ranked golfer in the world.
Speaking of that noted golf enthusiast, Tiger Woods is a slightly disappointing even through eight holes, on a day of favorable conditions when others are going low. Woods has parred every hole, including a nice save on the seventh hole after a disastrous pop-up drive that only went about 190 yards. That continues the trend of shaky play with his driver that has hampered him since his return from his self-imposed post-Thanksgiving Day crash exile.
With the first afternoon groups about to tee off, there is a new first-round leader at golf's "fifth" major: Ben Crane. The 34-year old Crane sits at 6-under through 14 holes, in a round featuring seven birdies and a single bogey thus far. Crane has been particularly electric right at the turn, recording birdies on all but the tenth hole between the 9th and 13th holes.
Brit Luke Donald currently sits alone in second place at 5-under through 12 holes, while six players are knotted at 4-under, including Charley Hoffman and Tim Clark. Vijay Singh is a shot back of that group at 3-under, while Phil Mickelson sits at 1-under through 15 holes.
The first afternoon groups get started at 12:25 PM, with Tiger Woods beginning his day at 1:28 PM.
It's often referred to as golf's mythical "fifth major". Indeed, the big purse at The Players Championship at Sawgrass attracts most of the world's top golfers, offering the deepest, most competitive field outside the quartet of majors. And this year, there's the added drama of Phil Mickelson potentially unseating Tiger Woods as the top-ranked golfer in the world -- which would happen if Mickelson wins and Tiger fails to finish in the top-5.
With the morning groups nearly halfway through their opening rounds, Alex Prugh has jumped out to the early lead at 5-under through 12 holes, with Charley Hoffman and Stephen Ames a shot back at 3-under, and a host of players right behind them at 2-under. Phil Mickelson is currently 1-under through seven holes, as he makes his bid to ascend to the top of the world rankings for the first time in his career.
Tiger Woods doesn't tee off until 1:28 PM in a group with Ian Poulter and Hunter Mahan. Among other notable names, 20-year old Rory McIlroy, fresh off his scintillating first career win at Quail Hollow last week, is also set to begin his day at 1:28 PM, although he'll be in a different group than Woods; McIlroy will begin his day on the back nine along with K.J. Choi and Bill Haas, while Woods will start his on the front nine.
And you can watch the 17th hole live, the infamous par-three island hole, here.
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