Aussies Lee, Davis eyeing Players Championship glory
Australians Min Woo Lee and Cam Davis are poised to challenge for Players Championship glory - and the biggest winner's cheque in golf - following superb third rounds at the PGA Tour's flagship tournament in Florida.
Lee is outright second, two shots behind world No.2 Scottie Scheffler, after lighting up TPC Sawgrass on Saturday with a six-under-par 66 jumped-started by a spectacular eagle at the first hole.
The 24-year-old from WA led for much of the day before a three-putt bogey on the last and a birdie for Scheffler (65) earned the American sole possession of the lead at 14 under.
At 10 under and in outright third, Sydneysider Davis is also doing his utmost to keep the trophy in Australian hands in the absence of suspended defending champion Cameron Smith.
Lee ignited his round with a hole-out eagle two from the fairway at the first and never looked back.
Mixing exquisite iron play with deft touch and sublime putting, he followed up with five birdies and scrambled for a miracle par from the flowers on the 10th after finding himself in deep trouble.
He rued his only blemish at the 18th but remains one great round away from bursting from the shadows of his two-time major-winning sister Minjee with the biggest victory of his career.
"Tomorrow could be the biggest day of my life, but I'm going to go out there and have fun again," Lee said.
"It's been the motto for the last three months. Not taking it too seriously.
"I like to have fun and interact with the fans when I can. Unlike others, they're very serious.
"I said, I just crept into this tournament (on rankings) and making the most of it and soaking it all in."
At the very least, Lee has all but secured an invite back to next month's Masters.
He entered this week's $US25 million event ranked 50th in the world and needs to be in the top 50 at April 2 to book his ticket to Augusta National.
But now that he's clinched a spot in the final group with Scheffler, Lee is intent on denying the reigning Masters champion more spoils including a return to world No.1.
"That's where I want to be one day," Lee said.
"He's just comfortable being out here and he's found his craft, and that's where every player wants to be.
"Hopefully I can take him down tomorrow but it will - it would - be a big effort."
After ambling through the front nine in even par, Davis roared to life with a chip-in eagle and three birdies coming home, including a near-ace on the famous island par-3 17th.
"I got just about everything I could have out of that round," Davis said.
"So, yeah, awesome to get some momentum, awesome to see my name up toward the top of the leaderboard.
"I'm really looking forward to keep pushing tomorrow and keep doing what I've been doing and hopefully some more birdies drop."
Sparked by a hole in one on No.17, Aaron Rai (65) is in a four-way tie for fourth at nine under with fellow Englishman Tommy Fleetwood (65), South Africa's Christiaan Bezuidenhout (69) and American Chad Ramey (68).
Jason Day's winning hopes look to have evaporated after a third successive 70 left the former world No.1 and 2016 Players Championship winner at six under and eight shots off the pace.
Still, Day is sitting nicely in equal 14th and well in the mix for a fifth consecutive top-10 PGA Tour finish this year - and also a return to the Masters after failing to qualify last year.