Webb Simpson remained on course to win the Players Championship on Sunday, despite the best efforts of a chasing pack which included 14-time major winner Tiger Woods.

Simpson took a seven-shot lead into the final round at Sawgrass, a position from which no player has failed to win in PGA Tour history.

And although the former US Open champion could only cover the front nine in level par to stay 19 under par, he still enjoyed a five-shot cushion heading into the back nine.

Playing partner Danny Lee remained Simpson's nearest challenger on 14 under, but Woods was just a shot further back alongside Jason Day and Jason Dufner.

Woods recorded a hat-trick of birdies from the third and picked up another shot on the ninth to be out in 32, before narrowly missing from 25 feet for an eagle on the par-five 11th.

US Open champion Brooks Koepka had earlier equalled the course record at Sawgrass thanks to just the second albatross on the 16th in tournament history.

Koepka had already carded five birdies when he holed his second shot with a six iron from 208 yards on the par-five 16th and followed that with another two on the next on his way to a nine-under-par 63.

"It was one of those professional pushes," Koepka admitted on PGA Tour Live. "You're aiming a little left of the flag and you push it right on the flag and to be honest we couldn't tell where it landed, then everybody started screaming.

"You're not sure if it's just because it landed close but then the roars kept going so we figured it went in. It was a helluva shot and I'll definitely take two there.

"To go two, two is pretty special - 17 has had my number for a long time and I feel like we're always hitting balls in the water there so to get a two out of it is pretty nice."

Koepka was forced to miss the Masters due to the injury to his left wrist, which he tweaked on Wednesday when stopping mid-swing after someone drove a cart in front of him on the practice range.

"Yesterday it was a bit sore but it feels good today and finishing with 63 makes it feel a little better," Koepka added.

"There's nobody more excited to be here than me. To get back out it felt like it took forever. The days were very long during that four-month period and it was refreshing to be outside and start practising."

The 28-year-old, who is playing just his fourth event of the season due to a wrist injury, is the eighth player to card a 63 at Sawgrass, with Simpson having done so in the second round.