PONTE VEDRA BEACH — The only bogey J.B. Holmes made Saturday could have been a lot worse, and he pieced together a 2-under 70 in strong wind on a punishing course to share the lead with Kyle Stanley going into today's final round of the Players Championship.
Holmes hit his tee shot so far to the right on the 14th hole that it went into the water on the 12th hole. He hit a blind shot from 230 yards into the wind, landing the ball in a bunker, but managed to get up-and-down to limit the damage, which is what Saturday at TPC Sawgrass was all about.
"I usually can make a bunch of birdies, so if I can just narrow it down to one bogey, then I'm usually in good shape," Holmes said.
Stanley, a second-round co-leader, got his trouble out of the way early with three bogeys in four holes and was bogey-free the rest of the way for 72. He and Holmes were at 9-under 207, one shot clear of Round 2 co-leader Louis Oosthuizen (73).
"You just kind of have to remind yourself that even though you're a little bit over par, on the leaderboard I was still in a pretty good spot," Stanley said.
Toil and trouble
TPC Sawgrass has trouble at every turn, even in calm conditions. Throw in a relentless wind that the final half of the field faced nearly all Saturday afternoon and the round was as much about staying in neutral without losing ground — or crashing.
And there was plenty of crashing.
• Jon Rahm, the PGA Tour's best newcomer, was five shots behind when he started the day and missed the 54-hole cut after 82.
• Three back to start the day, Vijay Singh, 54, made the turn in 5-over 41, put two balls in the water at the island 17th and finished with 7-over 79. He was 1 over.
• Matt Kuchar took a 9 on the 14th hole and shot 81, his highest score ever on this course.
• Phil Mickelson shot 6-over 78.
, Back in the game
Two weeks ago, Ian Poulter wasn't even in the field and no longer had full status on the PGA Tour until the tour realized it had made a clerical error related to his return from a foot injury. Now with a tour card again, the Ryder Cup stalwart made the most of the opportunity with the only bogey-free round of the day, and though he had just one birdie, that 71 was enough to give him a serious chance to win.
He was at 6 under with Emiliano Grillo.
"I've definitely been freer this week playing golf than I have in the last month, and I think it shows on the course," Poulter said. "I think it shows probably in my attitude on the course. It's a big deal."
Number of the day
49 Players of the 82 in the third-round field who made at least one double bogey or worse in the round.
Tweet of the day
"Rory now sleeping on his right side at night. Had to explain to (wife) Erica that it's to protect the back, not a sign of marital issues 2 wks in."
Golf Channel reporter Will Gray about Rory McIlory, who got married last month and is playing with back pain related to a rib injury suffered earlier this year. McIlroy shot 71 in the third round and was 1 under.