Stanley, Holmes take control at Players Championship


Kyle Stanley and J.B. Holmes grabbed a share of the one-stroke lead after the penultimate round of the Players Championship.

TPC Sawgrass was a windy challenge on Saturday, but Stanley and Holmes grinded out solid rounds to set themselves up for a chance to win their first Players Championship at nine under through 54 holes.

Stanley hit 13 of 14 fairways while firing an even-par 72 in the third round. Despite his dominance off the tee, he had just three birdies and three bogeys as the greens firmed up throughout the evening.

The island green par-three 17th is a nerve-racking hole that can tame even the most in-form players, but Stanley brushed off the pressure and hit a shot two feet from the pin.

Holmes also birdied the 17th as the fellow American posted a two-under-par 70.

Louis Oosthuizen, who entered the day tied for the lead, drained a 15-foot par putt on the 18th hole to remain solo third at 8 under.

Despite shooting a 73, the South African has a chance to win his first tournament on United States soil.

South Korea's Kim Si-woo - winner of last year's Wyndham Championship - heads into the final round two shots off the pace. Kim shot a four-under-par 68 Saturday with five birdies and just one bogey.

Emiliano Grillo (67) and Ian Poulter (71) are level at six under, while Masters champion Sergio Garcia (67), Patrick Cantlay (72) and Alex Noren (72) are a shot further back.

Garcia is trying to become just the second person in history to win both the Players Championship and the Masters in the same year since Tiger Woods in 2001.

Rafa Cabrera Bello (73), Francesco Molinari (69) and Pat Perez (66) are also in contention at four under.

Former Players Championship winner Adam Scott (71) is lurking at 3 under, two ahead of defending champion Jason Day (73) and Rory McIlroy (71).

Meanwhile, world number one Dustin Johnson is two over following his third-round 74.