Day holds lead on tough day at The Players


Jason Day managed to find consistency at The Players Championship on a day where wild winds wreaked havoc on the leaderboard as the Ponte Vedra Beach course lived up to its difficult reputation after two low-scoring days.

The Australian world number one had his worst round of the tournament by far but limited his losses to one-over-par 73 to hold a four-shot lead heading into the final round at TPC Sawgrass.

A rough front nine saw Day record a bogey on the third hole and double bogeys on the sixth and seventh, though birdies on the seventh and ninth ensured he did not do too much damage to his lead.

On the back nine Day proved much cleaner, hitting a birdie on 11 before saving par on 13 with a brilliant 47-foot bunker shot that rolled back two feet for an easy putt, before a birdie on the 16th further solidified his position on the leaderboard.

World number four Rory McIlroy finished three over 75, but a poor first round meant his chances of winning the title could not afford another day over par.

A relatively clean front nine that consisted of two birdies and one bogey was backed up by a rough back nine which featured three bogeys, a double bogey and just one birdie.

Adam Scott (75) also shot three over while Shane Lowry (78), who was second heading into round three, dropped 13 places to equal 15th after carding six over.

While most struggled - just six managed to score under par - there were huge performances from Ken Duke (65) and Hideki Matsuyama (67), who both moved into equal second at 10 under alongside Hideki Matsuyama (67).

Duke moved up 54 places on the leaderboard after a tremendous effort on the front nine - having started and going one under on the back nine - where he carded six birdies.