Marc Leishman is three shots back having carded a second straight 71, while Cameron Smith is seven-over nearing completion of his round.
Woods was eight under after 12 holes of his third round but a bogey on the 14th checked his progress and he finished with four pars. Phil Mickelson, playing alongside Woods and Rickie Fowler, ended his round in shocking style.
The lead belonged to just about everyone else.
On a day where scoring was good, McIlroy was frustratingly up and down throughout the round, and while he'll be happy to be in the red, he'll be equally annoyed he's not a few shots better off.
Contested annually at TPC Sawgrass, a watery Pete Dye-designed course with an evil streak, the Players historically features golf's strongest field.
That's been the story of the TPC Sawgrass over the years - a design that doesn't favour one particular style of play. Johnson, who has been world number one for 64 weeks, is under siege by those ranked from second through fifth, and he answered the challenge with a bogey-free round.
Woods wasn't among them.
First off, the field that THE PLAYERS brings is reminiscent of a major.
Mickelson's troubles happened Thursday, when he went double-bogey-double-double over a four-hole stretch on the back nine and shot a 79.
There aren't many things more exciting in golf than when Tiger Woods gets things going.
"I'm comfortable with some of the shots that you get around here, added Lahiri, who goes out with another Korean, Ahn Byeong-Hun, and Frenchman Alex Levy".
Or maybe they were just bored. The Englishman could leap to No 1 in the world rankings - a position he has never held before - with victory here. "It's so hot, it's playing short and the greens are receptive". He liked the results.
But the cut line was nowhere near Simpson's radar as he put together one of the finest rounds of his career, his charge up the leaderboard beginning with a 35-foot putt for eagle at the second, and he then picked up three shots in five holes to cap a faultless, outward 31.
'Never in a million years did I think someone would have a chance to shoot 61 around here, ' said an incredulous Sir Nick Faldo, on American television. It was his best score ever on the Stadium Course, and only his fourth time in the 60s.
"Overall on the whole day I just hit a lot of quality shots and a 65 was probably the highest I could have shot".
Rory McIlory STINKS! Man, I cannot believe that this guy could not take advantage of the conditions at TPC Sawgrass, just look at what these other players are doing. So it definitely works. I didn't hit it close enough. "But I've had a three week stretch here, and I can kind of feel the swing's getting a little bit loose. I'm very pleased with the way I putted today". He was at seven under in the morning until a pair of bogeys late in his round dropped him to a 67.
On the 393-yard par-4 sixth hole, Cook reached the green in 2 and sunk a sub 1-foot putt for birdie.
Pompeo said he had a "good" conversation with North Koreans and did his best to convey the United States message to them. President Trump tweeted Thursday that his "highly-anticipated" meeting with Kim will take place in Singapore on June 12.
When we say a sneak peek, we mean the baby's arm so people are going insane now that the first official look at True has landed. After all, while she was pregnant, Khloe was not shy about showing off her growing baby bump.
Last month, he and more than a dozen states sued the E.P.A. for failing to properly control methane pollution, a greenhouse gas. The Associated Press is identifying the women because they agreed to tell their stories publicly.
Tesfaye and Gomez dated for a year or so and as soon as they split Gomez was spotted spending time with Justin Bieber again. According to sources, Bella and The Weeknd left the party together at around 12.30 am.
Democrats pounced on Trump for not pursuing direct Medicare negotiations, an idea he championed before reaching the White House. Trump calls his plan the "most sweeping action in history to lower the price of prescription drugs for the American people".
He has a ring for every finger plus one he could give the victor of a Charles Barkley/Karl Malone cage match. In that game, Tatum put up 25 points, four assists, and three rebounds in 39 minutes of action.
However, it is not clear if it will be a major overhaul over the current Samsung Experience UI that sits on the Galaxy S9. Based on recent reports , the Galaxy S8 Lite could debut on May 21 in China, but nothing is confirmed at this point.
Japans SoftBank Group Corp sold its 20 per cent stake, which it had acquired for Dollars 2.5 billion, for about USD 4 billion. Notably, Walmart is going ahead with this in spite of the reported efforts of Amazon to interrupt this deal.
Israel kills 11 Iranians in Syria
In retaliation for Iran's rocket attack, about 50 Iranian targets in Syria were attacked by IDF forces on Thursday. An Israeli military ambulance drives past tanks in the Golan Heights, near the border with Syria, May 10, 2018.
104 year old Australian Scientist David Goodall ends his Life
Currently, most legislation that allows for assisted suicide or euthanasia does so only in the cases of terminally ill patients. A 104-year-old Australian scientist identified as David Goodall has ended his life in Switzerland over deteriorating life.
Hawaii Volcano Eruption and aftermath; dramatic visuals inside
The threat of violent explosions prompted authorities to close the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on Friday until further notice. US President Trump declared a major disaster in the Kilauea island of Hawaii days after series of quake and volcanic eruption.
Romeu thanks Swansea for 'screwing' with Southampton
Gabbiadini had only been on the pitch for four minutes and it was only his fifth goal of a hard season for the Italian. However, the game is up for West Brom, who can not escape the bottom three heading into the final weekend.
SpaceX to test new rocket for astronauts
SpaceX tries to re-use rockets, payload fairings, boosters and other parts to try to cut down on the cost of each rocket mission. STP-2 has a number of objectives, including demonstrating the new rocket's capabilities and launching several satellites.