Simpson leads Players Championship by seven strokes

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PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (Reuters) – American Webb Simpson all but extinguished the hopes of his rivals when he opened a record seven-stroke lead after the third round at the Players Championship on Saturday.After teeing off with a five-shot edge, Simpson increased his advantage with a poised four-under-par 68 highlighted by a 100-foot eagle from a bunker at the par-five 11th at TPC Sawgrass.The 2012 U.S. Open champion posted a 19-under total of 197 to match the tournament 54-hole record by Greg Norman.Simpson also moved within sight of the biggest victory margin in tournament history: seven strokes by Steve Elkington in 1997.New Zealander Danny Lee shot 70 to move into second place on 12-under, with American world number one Dustin Johnson (69) another two strokes behind in third place.Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth shot 65, best of the day, to jump into a tie for ninth, a distant 11 strokes behind Simpson.

May 12, 2018; Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, USA; Webb Simpson putts for par on the 18th green during the third round of The Players Championship golf tournament at TPC Sawgrass – Stadium Course. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Editing by Gene Cherry; Editing by Alistair Bell

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