McDowell leads by 1 at Players Championship

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, Last Updated: 4:11 AM ET

 

Graeme McDowell shot four-under 68 Sunday to grab a one-stroke lead after three rounds of The Players Championship.

McDowell, the reigning U.S. Open champion, finished 54 holes at 12-under-par 204. This is the first time in his PGA Tour career that McDowell was the 54- hole leader.

K.J. Choi fired a five-under 67 at the TPC Sawgrass to join David Toms (71) in second place at minus-11.

World No. 3 Luke Donald (71), two-time Players champion Davis Love III (70), Steve Stricker (71), Aaron Baddeley (70), Jason Dufner (68) and Nick Watney (72) share fourth place at nine-under-par 207.

Watney had a two-stroke lead at the turn, but Stricker and McDowell closed within one with birdies early on the back nine. Watney then tumbled down the leaderboard as he double-bogeyed the par-four 14th and followed with bogeys on 15 and 16.

McDowell reached 12-under with a birdie on the 10th, and Toms joined him in the lead with a birdie on No. 11. McDowell rolled in a five-footer for birdie on the 16th to gain the lead at minus-13.

At the par-three 17th, McDowell's tee shot stopped a foot from the hole and he kicked that in for birdie and a two-stroke lead over Toms. In the final group, Toms bogeyed 17 to slide three back.

It seemed as if everyone near McDowell on the leaderboard was finding water somewhere on the last three holes and the man from Northern Ireland was not exempt.

McDowell's approach from the right rough at 18, landed short and right of the green. However, the ball bounced hard onto the green, then rolled across the putting surface and into the pond left of the green.

After his drop, McDowell putted from the fringe to 10 feet. From there, he two-putted for double-bogey as his lead dropped from three to one.

NOTES: There was a 4 1/2 hour weather delay Saturday that forced the third round to be completed Sunday morning...Players are going off the first and 10th tees in threesomes for the final round.

 


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