Germany's Martin Kaymer admitted TPC Sawgrass was "very tricky" Saturday, as he was joined at the top of the Players Championship leaderboard by young American star Jordan Spieth.
Kaymer dropped a shot at the final hole as Spieth saved a remarkable par - making it 54 holes in a row without a bogey for the 20 year old, a Sawgrass record - meaning the lead is shared at minus 12 going into the final round.
And the former major champion Kaymer admitted moving day proved to be the toughest test of the tournament so far.
"It was very tricky today, therefore, you didn’t have as many birdie chances as the first two days. It played tough today," he said after his round.
With John Senden and Sergio Garcia the closest to the leaders at three back on nine under, Sunday may well turn into a straight shoot out between Spieth and Kaymer, and with a win at one of the biggest events of the PGA Tour likely to all-but ensure a Ryder Cup spot, the stakes are high for both competitors.
Spieth almost became the youngest ever winner of the Masters last month as he opened up a three-shot lead over Bubba Watson seven holes into the final round before his compatriot fought back to claim his second Green Jacket - but he appears to have recovered immediately from that disappointment.
With the Ryder Cup less than six months away, Sunday will be an interesting prelude to Gleneagles and it's a certainty that Tom Watson and Paul McGinley will both be keen spectators when the final pair tee off at Ponte Vedra Beach.
However, with most big tournaments now played in the U.S., Kaymer is more than at home with what he will have to contend with from a partisan crowd.
"When you're trying to win a big tournament, usually the big tournaments, you play them in America, so I'm always a foreigner. It's a good challenge.
"It's not easy, but I know what's going to happen. I know what I can expect, and therefore it's okay," added Kaymer.
Spieth, who only met his playing partner for the first time yesterday, is looking for his second victory on Tour but, more importantly, it will be the biggest win of his career by a distance and will also show he is over his Augusta disappointment.
And the 20-year-old Texan is hoping the crowd play their part on Sunday.
"To be honest with you, with how great of a buy Martin is, I wish it didn't feel as much like a Ryder Cup," he concluded.
"But I think that's only going to help me to have momentum with the crowd behind me."
There is nothing to suggest one has the upper hand over the other at this point in time, but if these two were to meet at Gleneagles in the autumn, this experience will almost certainly be at the forefront of their minds.
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