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Sunday’s final-round coverage
9 a.m. to 2 p.m. — Golf Channel “Live From” The Players
2 to 7 p.m. — NBC
Webb Simpson will try and close out a massive seven-stroke lead after 54 holes at the 2018 Players Championship with what would be his first victory in five years. He has the tournament scoring record of 24 under within reach, and if the first three days are any indication, he has a pretty good chance of remaining atop the leaderboard and reaching it.
The only golfers within striking distance are Danny Lee (-12) and Dustin Johnson (-10), but they’ll both need something disastrous from Simpson on Sunday to find themselves in the mix. As a nice appetizer before the main course, though, we get a Tiger Woods-Jordan Spieth pairing that combined to shoot 14 under on Saturday. () One of the might have to do that by himself to have a chance for the win in Round 4 at TPC Sawgrass.
A lot has happened in the five years since Tiger Woods crushed the hopes and dreams of Sergio Garcia on the way to winning his second Players Championship. Woods has had four back surgeries, missed a few full seasons, a few half-seasons, and Sergio has bagged that elusive major championship.
But Saturday at TPC Sawgrass was a throwback performance to a more dominant era. Woods, who scuffled to make the Players cut right on the number, moved some 60 spots up the leaderboard with the round of the day. He finished with a 7-under 65 that he characterized as the highest possible score he could have posted given the way he was playing. And he’s not wrong, as it felt like this was a course-record breaking march. It could have been a 10-under 62.
The 65 is good enough for a late Sunday tee time, which is a dramatic reversal from making the cut on the number. He will play with Jordan Spieth, going off the first tee at 2:05 p.m. ET. Spieth matched Tiger with the round of the day and because they got in the house so early, a Sunday pairing was always possible. Now they will play in PGA Tour Live’s featured groups stream for the afternoon.
The two will also play their entire round in the NBC coverage window. The TV coverage will begin at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday, so we’ll be up and running from the very first tee. That wasn’t the case on Saturday, as both Spieth and Tiger finished up well in advance of the broadcast. Thanks to the low scores, NBC will now get the boon that comes with Tiger playing during the final round broadcast of one of the biggest events of the year.
Just because they’re playing in the coverage window with a late tee time, however, does not mean Spieth and Tiger are truly in contention. Webb Simpson is running away with this thing and is seven shots clear of second-place Danny Lee. No player has ever blown a 54-hole lead that big in PGA Tour history. Tiger and Spieth are 11 shots back so it will take a miracle and a lot of help for this thing to be close down the stretch on Sunday night.