PGA TOUR Players Championship: Canadians in neutral at Sawgrass
PONTE VEDRA BEACH – While it was time to attack the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass, the Canadians remained neutral at the PGA TOUR Players Championship yesterday. In a good position at the dawn of the final rounds, they weighed down their chances of winning the tournament.
Leader by two strokes after 36 holes, Adam Svensson lost a lot of ground due to a card of 75 (+3). At his side in the last group to start, Scottie Scheffler brought back a score of 65 (-7) to settle in charge of the Players in front of the Australian Min Woo Lee, two strokes behind.
Svnesson tumbled 13 places in the standings. He is not alone among the representatives of the maple leaf. Taylor Pendrith also took quite a dig. His conservative, sometimes messy game and a 72 par tie saw him drop 26 ranks. He sits in 35th place with a cumulative record of -4.
Adam Hadwin saved the day by climbing three places with a third score of 69 (-3). He is in 14th place at -6, along with Svensson, among others.
For the third time in his professional career , Svensson rushed into the last group. It was, however, a first for him in Sawgrass, a place where he experienced his baptism of fire.
“Strangely, I was really calm before teeing off,” said the golfer with few words. I wasn't nervous at all.”
And this, even though he was flanked by Scheffler, the second best golfer in the world, in search of a sixth title in less than 14 months.
Curiously, the Canadian had no objective in mind. He started his round with a birdie from the first flag. The sauce spoiled afterwards. He committed three bogeys. Bouquet appeared at the 14th pennant where he recorded a triple bogey. His carrots were therefore cooked. He found himself eight shots behind the leader.
“It just wasn’t my day. I made several mistakes. The triple bogey hurts a lot. It's a shame, because I had fun. I appreciated this moment and this experience of the last group.
On the attack
Hadwin, the only Canadian to gain ground, capitalized on his chances by birding five. Constantly watching the scoreboards around the course, he knew he had no choice but to attack after the heavy rain the day before.
“I knew the other guys were playing very well and they took advantage of the favorable conditions. I was hitting well and the conditions were conducive to good scores. I did everything I could to follow them, explained the native of British Columbia.
“The fairways are softer, the greens too, he continued. These conditions are more permissive. They forgive more. This allows us to be more aggressive, because we know that the ball will stop in the right place.
For his part, Pendrith said he was frustrated at not having taken advantage of the favorable conditions to go back to the painting. His five birdies erased his five bogeys.
A course record
Tom Hoge was due to board a flight to Dallas mid-afternoon on Friday. But he canceled his homecoming plans with the stoppage of play at the end of the day on Friday. Yesterday morning, when he heard the ax had fallen to +2, he immediately headed for Sawgrass.
Six hours later, he recorded the day's round, beating some the tournament records and the best score on the Stadium Course.
A card of 62 (-10) which made him jump 57 ranks to settle in the top 10 at -8
The American had started the tournament with a score of 78 (+6)…
When his last putt fell to the bottom of the cut, he did not know that he had accomplished a real feat. It was his playmate, Shane Lowry, who advised him.
“I don't know how many course records I have, but I have a few scattered here and there. But this one, it's on top of everything. The conditions were perfect,” said the 33-year-old golfer.
The final round of the Players will begin at 7:45 a.m. on Sunday.