Historic Monday ahead at The Players?

Paul Casey and Tommy Fleetwood lead England’s charge for a first Players champion; 2021 winner Justin Thomas in with a chance of retaining title; leader Anirban Lahiri eyeing first PGA Tour victory – watch live from midday on Monday on Sky Sports The Players

Last Updated: 14/03/22 1:08am

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Highlights from day four of the 49th Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Florida

Highlights from day four of the 49th Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Florida

If you like the prospect of history being made, then tune into the Players on Monday.

We could have a first English champion of the prestigious event.

We could see Justin Thomas become the first man to successfully defend the tournament.

We could see a maiden winner on the PGA Tour.

Watch all the action from midday on Sky Sports the Players as the third round concludes, before the fourth and final round begins at 5pm on the same channel.

A first English winner?

Tommy Fleetwood is two strokes behind leader Anirban Lahiri heading into Monday’s play

Eight players came into the week looking to become the first English golfer to win the PGA Tour’s flagship event, with half of them still in the running heading into the tournament’s fifth day.

Matt Fitzpatrick, Justin Rose, Matt Wallace and Lee Westwood all failed to make the cut but Tyrell Hatton and Ian Poulter, a two-time runner-up at TPC Sawgrass, remain in the running at four under and three under respectively.

The best placed Englishmen, though, are Tommy Fleetwood – chasing a long-awaited breakthrough on the PGA Tour – and Paul Casey, who recovered from a nightmare start to his tournament to play himself into contention.

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Players and pundits examine why an English player has never won the Players Championship and predict who will be the first

Players and pundits examine why an English player has never won the Players Championship and predict who will be the first

Casey triple-bogeyed his opening hole on Thursday but recovered brilliantly to birdie five of his last eight holes to post a two-under 70, which he backed up with a three-under 69 during round two.

The 44-year-old then picked up two birdies on his front nine in round three to move onto seven-under, which puts him two off the lead – held by India’s Anirban Lahiri – and two ahead of fellow Englishman Fleetwood.

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Tommy Fleetwood was relieved to finish his second round on 73 after tough conditions on Sunday morning

Tommy Fleetwood was relieved to finish his second round on 73 after tough conditions on Sunday morning

Fleetwood had some near-miss putts among his third-round front nine but if he can start sinking them, then he has a real chance of winning the trophy.

Englishmen have amassed 23 top-10 finishes in the tournament’s history, but could this year be the time one of them finally secures a breakthrough victory?

A first back-to-back winner?

Justin Thomas is aiming to become the first man to successfully defend the Players Championship

Justin Thomas overturned a seven-stroke deficit over the final two rounds to win The Players last year – and he must now come from behind again to claim successive victories.

Thomas held a share of the overnight lead heading into Sunday after a second-round 69 took him to three under, with the 14-time PGA Tour winner eventually four strokes behind the halfway lead.

The American is now five shots adrift having played 10 holes in a real mixed bag of a third round so far.

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All the best shots from a hectic fourth day of The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass

All the best shots from a hectic fourth day of The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass

It began with back-to-back birdies and was followed by four pars but then featured a double bogey at the seventh and another dropped shot at the eighth before he rallied with birdies at nine and 10.

Thomas still has a lot of work to do but he only need look back to last year for inspiration…

A new first-time winner on the PGA Tour?

Could Canada’s Taylor Pendrith make the Players Championship his maiden PGA Tour title?

The depth of talent on the PGA Tour has been more evident than ever over the past couple of months, with five of the last seven winners being maiden champions, with every chance that run could continue this week in Florida.

Anirban Lahiri goes into Monday top of the leaderboard as he chases a career-changing victory on American soil, while Doug Ghim (-6) and Canada’s Taylor Pendrith (-4) are among the others chasing a breakthrough PGA Tour title.

Victory provides a five-year PGA Tour exemption and entry into all four majors for the next three years, along with the small matter of $3.6m in prize money, so there’s plenty at stake for those in contention.

Who will win The Players? Watch the conclusion to the third round live on Monday from midday on Sky Sports The Players, with coverage from the final round available at 5pm on the same channel.

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