Saturday, 22 September, 2018

Simpson matches course record, Woods struggles to make cut at Players

Gareth Bale: Tiger Woods is the greatest of all-time Tiger Woods score: Big Cat electrifies with best round of 2018 at Players Championship
Eugene Bates | 13 May, 2018, 00:54

Simpson still enjoyed a tournament record five-shot lead over former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel, American Patrick Cantlay and New Zealand's Danny Lee, while Tiger Woods made the halfway cut on the mark of one under par as Rory McIlroy made an early exit following a 74. Woods' laments about missed opportunities, errant irons and an inability to convert on the greens may as well have been plucked from the Quail Hollow transcripts. When the first round sees scores go low, typically, the PGA Tour will instruct the grounds crew to make the greens firmer for the second round.

The four-time major champion has learned to love the TPC Sawgrass - "learned to like", he quickly clarified with a smile - and he has taken small steps toward contention.

It was also the lowest score in Woods' 66 career trips around the Stadium course, where he won in 2001 and 2013. Look no further than tournament leader Webb Simpson, who almost had an out-of-body experience while distancing himself from the pack as Woods' weekend fate hung in the balance late Friday afternoon.

Taking advantage of calmer morning conditions, Day began his second round with two front-nine birdies before adding three more on his inward nine.

"Just the wrong club", he said.

At that point, it appeared that the moment was having an effect on Tiger's playing partner MacKenzie Hughes, a 27-year-old PGA Tour rookie from Canada who was playing with Woods-and all that comes with playing with Woods-for the first time.

"Everything is going in, " he said. But when you're on, sometimes the course throws you a bone, and his Bridgestone ball took a nice kick right and finished about nine feet from the cup.

The supernova group of Woods, Mickelson and Rickie Fowler disappointed on the course after an inordinate amount of hype coming into Round 1. "We were like, 'Man, I hope he shoots 59.' And at the same time, we're saying if he shoots 59, can you imagine how hard the setup is going to be tomorrow?"

Woods hit just 12 greens in regulation and was never inside 10 feet with his approach shots.

Spieth did his damage on the back nine, playing it in 31 strokes, including birdies at the final three holes.

The third round of The Players' Championship is underway at Sawgrass. "I think that's what Pete Dye does so well". "I started to feel really comfortable in my setup". It leads into the rest of the game. "I felt I had better control of hitting it right-to-left and left-to-right". Woods missed only one putt inside 10 feet all day and finished with 2.9 strokes gained putting for the round. "So it just shows you where it actually matters, and that's on the greens".

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