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Page last updated at 23:37 GMT, Saturday, 9 May 2009 00:37 UK

Cejka chased by Woods at Players

THIRD ROUND LEADERBOARD (GB & Ireland unless stated):
-11 A Cejka (Ger) -6 T Woods (US), R Goosen (SA), J Byrd (US), B Crane (US), H Stenson (Swe), I Poulter
Selected others:-5 B Davis -3 J Rose -1 L Donald, P Casey, P Mickelson (US) +1 S Garcia (Spa) +2 P Harrington


Alex Cejka
Cejka will play with Tiger Woods in the final group on Sunday

Alex Cejka will take a five-shot lead over a chasing pack that includes Tiger Woods and Ian Poulter into the last day of the Players Championship.

Cejka shot 72 to reach 11 under as Woods edged from 22nd at the start of the day to a tie for second with a 70.

Poulter worked hard for a 75 but remains in the hunt at six under with Woods, Retief Goosen, Jonathan Byrd, Ben Crane and Henrik Stenson.

England's Brian Davis carded 71 to reach five under and joint eighth.

Justin Rose hit three birdies and three bogeys in an even round of 72 to remain three under for the tournament, while Luke Donald carded a round of 71 to move to one under overall.

At one stage Paul Casey was looking good to challenge the top 10 but a double bogey and two further bogeys on the back nine meant he posted a four-over 76 to leave him one over overall.

Defending champion Sergio Garcia carded a 73 to finish at one over, while Padraig Harrington hit a 74 to finish at two over.

I've got to play well to win here

Alex Cejka

Swede Robert Karlsson's 75 sent him to three over, Scotland's Martin Laird shot a four-over 76 to finish at three over, while Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell finished with a 77, five over for the week.

Cejka's advantage is the largest third-round lead in the 36-year history of the event but Woods has already overcome the deficit in reeling in Sean O'Hair for victory at Bay Hill in March.

The Czech-born German will go head-to-head with Woods in the final round.

He said: "I've played with him twice before, once in an exhibition, once in the last round at the (British) Open in 1996.

"It's going to be tough. He's the best player but it's going to be a good challenge for me.

"I know I have a lead but it's against not only Tiger but against the rest of the field. I mean, I've got to play well to win here.

"It's nice to watch the best player in the world but I've got to focus again on my game and let him work a little bit.

"I'm in a position where he has to make the birdies and we'll see what happens. But I'm looking forward to it."

Woods has not finished in the top 10 at the event since winning it in 2001 but he said this year was the best he had played the Players Stadium Course in a long time.

"I can certainly sense a change. It's nice to get back out here and play a golf course this fast," he said. "I really enjoy it.

"I think this is how we've always thought this golf course should be played - hard and fast. And it's playing that way.



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see also
Poulter in the hunt at Sawgrass
09 May 09 |  Golf
Poulter in contention at Sawgrass
07 May 09 |  Golf
Woods eyes Sawgrass improvement
05 May 09 |  Golf
Garcia snatches play-off victory
12 May 08 |  Golf


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