Recent US PGA tour winners John Senden and Matt Jones are riding their hot form all the way towards what would be the biggest win of their lives.
Senden pushed his way into a tie for third just three shots off the lead while Jones is just a shot behind in fifth after three rounds at the mega-rich Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass, known as the “fifth major”.
While former major winner Martin Kaymer and young American sensation Jordan Spieth sit three shots clear at the top, both Australians are well in contention with a round to play.
A win would bring a $US1.8 million ($A1.95 million) payday and also a five-year-exemption on the US Tour.
“If I can shoot five or six under I’ll be happy, that’s my goal tomorrow,” the 34-year-old Jones said.
“Then it’s out of my hands. If I shoot that, if that’s as good as I can do, that would be great.
“Then if others play better, they play better, but I’ve done all I can do.”
Senden, now 43 years old and a two-time tour winner, is feeling as good as he ever has.
Since winning in Tampa Bay he also played in the final group on Saturday at the Masters, gaining valuable experience amongst stressful but also exciting conditions.
“This is what we practice for so if you can’t get excited about this, well you can’t get excited about anything,” Senden said.
“Jordan Spieth and Martin Kaymer, obviously they are world class players, so they’re not just going to give you a Players championship, you have to go out there and earn it.”
The Queenslander could have easily been just two back if not for an unlucky self-imposed penalty in the first round.
Senden believed his ball moved on the fourth hole as he sunk a one-foot par putt, robbing him a stroke.
While his playing partners believed nothing moved and Senden could have easily walked away without reporting the incident, Senden had no hesitation in taking the high road.
“I felt it moved just a little and so I had to tell them in the scoring trailer. This is an honest game and it is the right thing to do,” Senden said.
“The worst thing you can be in this game is someone who is branded dishonest. That’s not how I do things.”
A good result will also lock up spots in upcoming majors for both Senden and Jones.
Those inside the world top 60 on May 26 will be exempt for June’s US Open at Pinehurst No.2 with those inside the top 50 on the same date also afforded a place in the British Open at Royal Liverpool in July.