Jordan Spieth couldn't see any of the 240 yards to the green on the toughest hole at the TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. He was in the rough so far right of the 14th fairway that he was closer to a water hazard on No. 12 that he didn't know even existed. His ball was on the back side of a mound. One wrong move could have led to a big number.
"Probably the best shot I've hit here this week," Spieth said Saturday.
The contact was perfect. The ball landed about pin-high in a bunker, setting up another par.
It was like that all day at The Players Championship.
Every time the 20-year-old Texan landed in trouble, he answered with a recovery shot, a chip-and-run, and always a putt that kept him without a bogey through 54 holes and gave him a share of the lead with Martin Kaymer going into the final round.
Spieth's final act was an escape through the trees on the 18th hole and a 12-foot par putt from the fringe for a 1-under 71. Kaymer missed his par putt from just inside 10 feet on the final hole and had to settle for a 72.
They were at 12-under 204, three shots clear of former Players winner Sergio Garcia (69) and John Senden (68).
Not since Greg Norman won The Players in 1994 has anyone gone through the opening three rounds without a bogey. Then again, Spieth has shown over the last year that he is capable of remarkable feats. Spieth now has gone 69 consecutive holes dating to Hilton Head without making a bogey.
Kaymer wasn't too shabby on the toughest day all week at Sawgrass -- warm, humid, blustery and increasingly frightening. He picked up a pair of birdies on the front nine to build a two-shot lead, only to lose two birdie opportunities on the par 5s on the back nine.
Kaymer was in a good spot. A former world No. 1 and major champion, Kaymer is trying to end more than two years without winning.
Rose gets two-shot penalty: U.S. Open champion Justin Rose thought his ball might have moved. Then he was convinced it didn't. Only after he got up-and-down to save par and looked at the replay on three televisions did he see the slighest movement that came with a stiff penalty in The Players Championship. The two-shot penalty turned his 71 into a 73. Instead of being five shots behind Spieth and Kaymer, he was seven shots back.