FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Saturday, March 16th, 2024

NOTES AND QUOTES – THE 2024 PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP ON NBC AND PEACOCK (THIRD ROUND)

“He was over that shot for way longer than any other shot today. It was like he was almost frozen over it.” – John Wood on Wyndham Clark’s shot into the water on No. 17

“To be known as ‘The Ghimme at 17’ for Doug.” – Mike Tirico on Doug Ghim’s chip-in on the same line as the “Better Than Most” Tiger Woods putt at No. 17

“You get the feeling that maybe it’s his time to break out of all of these Top 10s… he hasn’t won since the Scottish Open in 2022, and he knows he’s better than that.” – Dan Hicks on Xander Schauffele

“I don’t know that I’ve ever seen him as magical as he was today.” – Brandel Chamblee on Xander Schauffele on Live From The PLAYERS

“We are in a sprint here tomorrow.” – Paul McGinley on Live From The PLAYERS

STAMFORD, Conn. – March 16, 2024 – NBC Sports presented comprehensive coverage of the third round of The PLAYERS Championship from The Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., on NBC and Peacock. Golf Central Live From The PLAYERS followed with post-round coverage on GOLF Channel and Peacock.

Dan Hicks and Mike Tirico handled play-by-play duties, while Kevin Kisner and Brad Faxon served as analysts. John Wood, Smylie Kaufman, Notah Begay III and Curt Byrum served as on-course reporters, while Damon Hack handled reports and interviews.

Coverage also included a live walk-and-talk interview with Maverick McNealy on the 11th hole.

Rich Lerner, Brandel Chamblee and Paul McGinley anchored Live From The PLAYERS post-round coverage. Following are notes and quotes from today’s coverage.

 

PLAYERS Championship – Third Round Leaderboard

Player Total
Xander Schauffele -17
Wyndham Clark -16
Brian Harman -15
Maverick McNealy -13
Matt Fitzpatrick -13
Scottie Scheffler -12
Sahith Theegala -12

 

ON XANDER SCHAUFFELE (-17, Leader)

Hicks on 58-foot birdie make on 14th hole: “You get the feeling that maybe it’s his time to break out of all of these Top 10s that he’s been filling up the last couple of years…he’s playing such good golf., but he hasn’t won since the Scottish Open in 2022, and he knows he’s better than that.”

Chamblee on Live From: “I don’t know that I’ve ever seen him as magical as he was today.”

 

ON WYNDHAM CLARK (-16, 2nd)

Kisner: “He’s in one of the hardest spots you can be in in golf – a big lead on Saturday. He has to really stay aggressive and keep his foot on the gas. I always told myself that I was tied even if I had a big lead.”

Kisner on Clark’s confidence: “Early on in his career, I heard a lot of guys talking about how confident of player he was in his own game. Frankly, that’s what all of us our here need – more of that self-belief. It’s a one-man show out there and if you’re not going to believe in yourself, who is?”

McGinley on Live From: “He was a guy that was not on his game today…he was not on his driving, he was not on his iron play, but he battled like hell. He’s still there…now he’s the hunter, not the hunted, and I think he’s going to bounce back tomorrow. We are in a sprint here tomorrow.”

Faxon on Clark’s shot in the water on 17th hole: “Nothing even close to anything like that was expected. Well short.”

Tirico: “That sounded terrible.”

Faxon: “He hit two or three inches behind it.”

Wood: “He was over that shot for way longer than any shot earlier today. It’s almost like he was frozen over it.”

Tirico: “We see balls in the water here, obviously, but rarely do you see a shot this short.”

Hicks: “The ShotLink data is telling us that the tee shot went 102 yards.”

 

ON SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER (-12, T-6th)

Kaufman on Scheffler’s movement after Friday’s neck discomfort: “His overall movement just looks a little stiff. He can definitely get through the golf shots just fine. He’s got to avoid the rough today with how heavy it is.”

Kaufman on 7th hole: “A couple times today, I’ve seen Scottie take a more club and I think that has everything to do with his neck. Hitting more three-quarter shots, not going all in at it.”

Faxon: “He just does everything right – all the time.”

 

ON BRIAN HARMAN (-15, 3rd)

Kisner: “I was a senior with Chris Kirk and Brendon Todd on the Georgia Bulldogs and when (Harman) came in as a freshman, we had just won the national championship. This little guy comes in and starts playing No. 1 against all of us and we would play five-man practice rounds and I swear, he would hit a flagstick per round in our practice rounds. He was so good as a freshman, I think he was as good then as he is now.”

 

ON RORY MCILROY (-9, T-12th)

Tirico to Curt Byrum on the 7th hole with sand wedge from 135 yards: “How has Rory been with the wedges today?”

Byrum as McIlroy missed the green to the left: “Not great…and that one is terrible.”

 

ON DOUG GHIM (-9, T-12th)

Tirico prior to Ghim’s chip from the back of the 17th green: “It’s not the exact hole location, but it’s close enough in the neighborhood that it gives you the ‘better than most’ feels.”

Faxon: “All due respect, I’m not going to use that line, ever, in deference to Gary Koch. But this is much harder than the putt, this can really get away from you and go right off the green if you’re not careful.”

Tirico as Ghim strikes the ball: “And now it begins its journey…”

Faxon: “Looks like it’s got some pretty nice pace…”

Tirico: “…very nice pace…”

Faxon: “…really good pace…”

Tirico: “Doug Ghim! Yeah!

Faxon on refraining from the ‘better than most’ phrase: “Don’t do it! Don’t do it!”

Tirico: “To be known as ‘The Ghimme at 17’ for Doug…gave you a little bit of the Tiger “better than most” fist pump too.”

 

WALK AND TALK WITH MAVERICK MCNEALY (T-4th)

McNealy on recent top-10 and top-20 finishes: “It’s what you play for. There’s two games – there’s the first game and then you play your way into the second game. That’s where the action happens. It’s validating to see that my game is good enough to get myself up there with all of those great players. There’s nothing better than hitting a great golf shot under pressure.”

Faxon to McNealy: “We’re sitting in the 18th tower with no idea what the wind is doing. It seems like it’s all over today.”

McNealy: “You guys stole the words right out of my mouth. We’ve had northeast, southwest and pretty much everything in between. I put myself through the short game Olympics on the front nine.”

 

ON SWIRLING WINDS TODAY AT TPC SAWGRASS

Wood: “It’s a caddie’s nightmare out here right now.”

Faxon: “It’s a player’s nightmare!”

Tirico: “Just fine for the announcers.”

–NBC SPORTS–