- Associated Press - Saturday, May 9, 2015

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Chris Kirk kept his cool during a rocky patch Saturday and made three straight birdies for a 4-under 68 that gave him a one-shot lead at The Players Championship going into the final round that is very much up for grabs.

That much was clear over the final hour on a TPC Sawgrass course that gave as much as it took.

Kirk went from out of the top 10 to a share of the lead in three holes. He had the lead to himself at 10-under 206 when Kevin Na three-putted for double bogey on the 18th hole.

What made Saturday so unpredictable was neither the Stadium Course nor the variety of shots, rather a leaderboard crammed with so many players that it was hard to keep track who was coming and who was going.

Ben Martin fell out of the lead with a bogey on the 18th for a 68, leaving him one shot behind along with Kevin Kisner (67) and Bill Haas (68). Justin Thomas was tied for the lead, but that was before the leaders teed off. The 22-year-old rookie set a Stadium Course record with 10 birdies in his round of 65 and was two behind, along with Sergio Garcia (67), Scott Brown (69), David Heard (70), Jerry Kelly (72) and Na, who had to settle for a 72.

At the end of the day, 24 players were separated by four shots.

That included Rory McIlroy, the world’s No. 1 player, who had a 70 to stay in the mix.

Tiger Woods made the wrong kind of history Saturday by making two double bogeys on par 5s for the first time in his career, leading to a 75 that matched his worst score at the TPC Sawgrass. Woods was 13 shots behind and chose not to share his thoughts on the day.

MAURITIUS OPEN

BEL OMBRE, Mauritius (AP) - South Africa’s George Coetzee holed out from the fairway for an eagle on the par-5 seventh and shot a 6-under 65 for a one-shot lead in the Mauritius Open.

The highest-ranked player in the field at No. 63, Coetzee had an 11-under 202 total. He won the Tshwane Open in South Africa in March for his second European Tour title.

South Africa’s Thomas Aiken (68) and Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen (70) were tied for second in the event sanctioned by the European, Asian and Sunshine tours.


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