x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Cejka paired with Woods for final round

Alex Cejka will reach back 13 years for inspiration as he prepares to hold off Tiger Woods in the final round of The Players Championship at Sawgrass today.

Alex Cejka holds a five stroke lead going into today's final round of the TPC at Sawgrass.
Alex Cejka holds a five stroke lead going into today's final round of the TPC at Sawgrass.

Alex Cejka will reach back 13 years for inspiration as he prepares to hold off Tiger Woods in the final round of The Players Championship at Sawgrass today. Germany's Cejka will go head-to-head with the world No 1 in the final round armed with a five-shot lead over the American and five others as he bids to win his maiden PGA Tour event. While he has not held a five-shot lead before in any of his four European Tour victories, Cejka said he had enjoyed being paired with Woods before, in particular at the 1996 British Open at the Royal Lytham. The pair faced each other in the final round with the Czech-born Cejka outscoring Woods, then an amateur, 67 to 70 on his way to a tie for 11th place. "I've played with him twice before, once in an exhibition, once in the last round at the British Open," Cejka said. "It's going to be tough. He's the best player but it's going to be a good challenge for me. "I know I have a lead but it's against not only Tiger but against the rest of the field. I mean, I've got to play well to win here." Cejka, 38, holed a birdie at the 18th for a third-round 72 and stressed the onus was on Woods to make the running on the final day. "The last time I played with him I dealt with it pretty good," Cejka added. "Again, we'll see. It's nice to watch the best player in the world but I've got to focus again on my game and let him work a little bit. "I'm in a position where he has to make the birdies and we'll see what happens. But I'm looking forward to it." The German, who fled Communist Czechoslovakia with his father when he was nine, admitted he did not know how he was going to deal with the mental challenge of playing with a five-shot lead. "I've never had a five-shot lead," he said, laughing, "so I really don't know. "It depends how I come on the driving range or how I feel. "Right now I can't tell you. It depends how I sleep and on the driving range if I feel well, I can tell you but right now, who knows what is in 14 hours or however long it is to my tee time. "It's nice to have a cushion like this. There is no guarantee, but I'd rather be five ahead than two behind and still playing with him." *PA Sport