Jon Rahm has taken the lead of the Players Championship.Associated Press
Jon Rahm was only another golfer at the start of the third round of the 2019 Players Championship.
He had played well in the first two rounds of the tournament and was seven under par after 36 holes, but he was five ahead of co-leaders Rory McIlroy and Tommy Fleetwood.
McIlroy and Fleetwood were playing TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, as two or three masters, and it seemed as though those two had had the chance to escape.
But this was not the case as both teams started slowly on the day of the move. As the two struggled, Rahm grew stronger and spent one of the most memorable days of his young career. Rahm, 24, shot a ball under 64, which was a shot at the Players Championship record.
Rahm left the rhythm to take the lead of the tournament, often called fifth major, and holds it alone. Rahm has a lead of one hit on McIlroy and Fleetwood. It's the first time in his career that Rahm's name ranks at the top of the 54-hole mark standings.
McIlroy started his round with a bogey-bogey, while Fleetwood had a double bogey in the opening wedge. The two golfers managed to stay the course and finished with a score of less than 70 out of 70 in the third round of the tournament.
Rahm and Fleetwood will be in the last couple for the championship round, while McIlroy will be paired with Jason Day, who shot a goal under 68 and averaged 12 under the tournament.
Rahm explained that a change in mental approach helped him maintain a calm demeanor even after striking bad shots. "I have a different approach than last year or the past," Rahm said in an interview with Mike Tirico of NBC. "I'm trying to keep my feelings and emotions under control because there's always a next shot coming."
Rahm put this philosophy into practice on the top nine. After dropping a bug on the sixth hole, he remained calm and scored the next two holes before finishing the ninth with a birdie on the ninth hole.
McIlroy made a strong comeback after the slow start and said his goal was to "hit the fairways" in Sunday's final round.
Fleetwood spoke with NBC's Steve Sands about his incoherent journey. "I could say that I was really not at my best and I had to participate in this round," Fleetwood said. "If I want to win, I have to be strong mentally and hit my driver well."
Abraham Ancer also shot 70, and he is in fifth place, four strokes from Rahm to 11 under.
A group of six golfers at 10 under is hiding behind. The main names of this group are Dustin Johnson, Jim Furyk and Brandt Snedeker. Although Rahm has a big lead, it would not be a shock if Johnson could take a very hot start and challenge the big names at the top.
Rahm and Fleetwood are in the last couple of the day and they will leave at 13:35. AND. McIlroy and Day will be in the previous group. and these two will start their turn at 1:25 pm ET.
Ancer and Ollie Schniederjans will leave at 1:15 pm ET, while Keegan Bradley and Snedeker leave at 1:05 pm AND. Johnson and Brian Harman have a starting time of 12:55.
here is a link to departure times for the full field.
Tiger Woods, who suffered a quadruple bogey on the island's green hole on the 17th lap in the second round, fired an equal round of 72. Although he could not defend himself, he got a near-perfect shot on the 17th tee and made his putt for a birdie.
Tiger and Kevin Na had the time of the week so far at 17 🤣
Woods, playing with Kevin Na, had a humorous moment that sparked applause and laughter from the crowd while playing the same 17th hole. Na also managed to misplace that hole and, after hitting his short putt, he ran after the ball and picked it up about the same time the ball hit the bottom of the cup.
Woods then followed, letting go of his putt and running after the ball. Both players burst out laughing and smiled a lot. Woods, who was known for his extreme seriousness for most of his career, has been a more casual competitor in the last two seasons and fans have welcomed this lighter behavior.
Jason Day is in a hot spot for the final round of The Players Championship. Lynne Sladky / Associated Press / Associated Press
Rahm is one of the most talented and talented young players on the PGA Tour. He put it all together in the third round at TPC Sawgrass. His performance was almost perfect, and it may be a bit difficult to expect that it will match this performance in the last round.
McIlroy has played excellent golf all season, but has not yet won a tournament because he has had problems in the final stages of several tournaments. Fleetwood has won five tournaments in Europe, but has yet to break through in North America.
If McIlroy or Fleetwood needs to break through, they will have to take a big step forward.
Do not expect that any of these players will collapse, but the player who has perhaps the best chance to play his best round is Day. He seems to have delayed things and after shooting 66, 68 in the second and third rounds, is looking for Day to play his best golf and go over the leaders.
Day can also see Johnson score from behind, but Day will find a way to win the important victory at TPC Sawgrass.