RANKING rises came thick and fast for Australia’s golfers after a stirring weekend of results, but none was more important than Adam Scott’s leap.

The former world No.1 pulled out a six-year-old driver and went back to his broomstick putter at the Players Championship in Florida and finished tied for 11th after a closing 68.

Scott moves from 71 in the world to 65. He needs to be in the top 60 by June 11 to guarantee a start in the US Open and keep his streak of 67 major championships alive.

PLAYERS: SCOTT FACES FIGHT OF CAREER

The Queenslander has played in every major since the 2001 British Open.

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WEBB Simpson has tied Greg Norman’s 54-hole scoring record at The Players Championship as the American remained in cruise control atop the leaderboard on day three.

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Simpson started moving day at TPC Sawgrass with a five-shot lead and increased his advantage to seven shots courtesy of a four-under-par 68. With a 19-under total of 197, former US Open winner Simpson matched Norman’s 1994 effort.

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Simpson will take the largest lead into the final round of golf’s unofficial fifth major.

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New Zealand’s Danny Lee (70) is outright second at 12 under and will join Simpson in the final group, while world No.1 Dustin Johnson (69) is solo third two shots further back.

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Jason Day was unable to reel in Simpson but a 71 left the 2016 champion at TPC Sawgrass sharing fourth at nine under, a whopping 10 shots off the pace. Marc Leishman (67) and Adam Scott (72) are next best of the Australians at seven under.

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Earlier, Tiger Woods emerged from the wilderness to rocket up the leaderboard. Woods, a two-time winner of The Players, started the day 14 shots off the pace.

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But 14-time major champion Woods clawed his way back into contention with a sizzling 65 – his best score at golf’s unofficial fifth major.

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He shares ninth at eight under alongside Jordan Spieth (65). Woods had the enormous galleries on the edge of their seats with a bogey-free front nine of six under 30.

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It was one shot worse than the front nine record of 29, set by Martin Kaymer in 2014.

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The 42-year-old Woods then jagged birdies at the 11th and 12th but that was it for his charge, with a bogey at the 14th.

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