Fowler on charge at Sawgrass
Golf's man-of-the-moment Rickie Fowler took a lead role again on Saturday with a third-round charge in the Players Championship at Sawgrass.
Six days after beating fellow 23-year-old Rory McIlroy in a play-off for his first PGA Tour victory, Fowler covered the first 11 holes in a majestic six under par despite the blustery conditions.
A superb up and down from a greenside bunker at the long 16th gave him another birdie and the lead, but three putts from off the final green took some of the gloss off his day's work.
From joint 17th at halfway the American Ryder Cup player - he made his debut at Celtic Manor just a year after playing the amateur Walker Cup - was round in 66 and one behind team-mate Matt Kuchar, who still had the entire back nine to play.
The sport's richest event - £5.8million prize money in all, with more than £1m to the winner - was wide open and there were no fewer than seven changes at the top before the overnight pacesetters had even completed the opening stretch.
Kuchar's birdies at the eighth and ninth meant he turned at 10 under par, with Fowler in on nine under and their compatriot Kevin Na alongside him with 10 holes still to go.
Fowler shared the lead with compatriot Kevin Na, but 25 players were separated by only six strokes.
They included Scot Martin Laird and England's Ian Poulter and Brian Davis, but not Luke Donald, Lee Westwood or Tiger Woods.
Donald and Westwood were playing together for the third day in a row, and both had a chance to go back to world number one after McIlroy's failure to make the cut at the tournament for the third time in three attempts.
Despite almost holing in one at the third and sinking a bunker shot on the long 11th, Donald was only level par for the day after 14 and joint 26th at three under.
Westwood bogeyed the fourth and fifth and, still searching for his first birdie, came to the closing four holes one under and in a tie for 45th.
Between them was Woods after a level-par 72 that surely left him too much ground to make up on the final day.
Woods, having battled back from two over to two under with a Friday 68, was hoping for a Fowler-like burst, but bogeyed the seventh and 10th before birdies on 11 and 13 got him back to where he started.
Davis and Laird were still going best of the European contingent, joint fifth on six under, while Poulter's 71 - played in the company of Fowler - left him four under.
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