The Players – Sunday storylines to follow at TPC Sawgrass: New world No 1? An English winner? | Golf News
Scottie Scheffler takes a two-shot lead over Min Woo Lee into the final day of The Players; English pair Aaron Rai and Tommy Fleetwood both in contention at TPC Sawgrass; Watch the final round live on Sunday from 2pm on Sky Sports Golf
By Ali Stafford at TPC Sawgrass
Last Updated: 12/03/23 12:26am
The Players reaches its climax on Sunday, live on Sky Sports, with a host of possible storylines and scenarios to look out for on the final day at TPC Sawgrass.
Scottie Scheffler takes a two-shot lead into the final round after a brilliant seven-under 65 at the TPC Sawgrass, with Australia’s Min Woo Lee heading the chasing pack as he chases a first PGA Tour title.
A marathon Saturday saw Tom Hoge break the course record with a bogey-free 62 and Aaron Rai post the second hole-in-one of the week at the par-three 17th, with plenty of more interesting scenarios still a possibility at the PGA Tour’s flagship event…
Will Jon Rahm remain world No 1?
Rahm came into the week chasing a fourth win of 2023 and a sixth victory in 11 worldwide starts, only to be forced to pull out ahead of the second round due to illness and leave Rory McIlroy in a two-ball alongside Scheffler.
McIlroy missed the cut for a sixth time in his Players Championship career after rounds of 76 and 73 over the first two rounds, leaving Scheffler as the only player who can leapfrog Rahm at the top of the standings this week.
Scheffler just needs a top-five finish now to move to world No 1 for a third time, having held the ranking for a week between last month’s WM Phoenix Open title defence and Rahm’s Genesis Invitational victory.
The Masters champion will go out in the final group on Sunday as he chases a second win of the season and a sixth PGA Tour title in 13 months, with the victory offering the added incentive of a significant gap over his two nearest rivals at the top of the standings.
A breakthrough English victory?
It has been mentioned on numerous occasions throughout the week that The Players has never produced an English winner, although three Englishman in this week’s field still have a chance to create their own piece of history.
Five of the eight English players involved made it through to the weekend, with Justin Rose the first to play his way into contention despite finishing his third-round 67 with a bogey.
Rose sits in the group on seven under and still with an outside opportunity to challenge for victory, with Tommy Fleetwood and Rai both two strokes closer to the lead after producing brilliant scoring bursts to each card a seven-under 65.
Fleetwood made five birdies in a seven-hole stretch to set an early clubhouse target on nine under, while Rai matched his compatriot’s total after posting birdies either side of that stunning ace at the par-three 17th.
Rai becomes the first golfer in history to finish birdie-eagle-birdie eagle at The Players, with both he and Fleetwood looking to challenge for their maiden PGA Tour titles on Sunday.
A shock winner at Sawgrass?
Every previous Players Championship winner has been tied-11th or better heading into the final day, with Fleetwood and Rai joined by a host of other players inside that spot and chasing an elusive PGA Tour victory.
Lee is a two-time winner on the DP World Tour but yet to enjoy success on American soil, while Christiaan Bezuidenhout – who posted an opening-round 65 the year the tournament was cancelled because of Covid-19 in 2020 – is also in the running going into the final day.
A third-round 66 lifted Taylor Montgomery into a share of 11th and in the group on seven under, but will the American be too far back – given the last 12 Players champions were within three strokes of the lead going into the final round?
Who will win The Players? Watch the final round live on Sky Sports. Live coverage of featured groups, featured holes and bonus groups begin behind the red button, with full coverage on Sky Sports Golf from 2pm.