Tiger Woods played like a man with a mission Friday as he birdied four holes and in the process broke 70 for the first time in 10 rounds to make the cut at the $9.5 million US PGA Players Championship.
Woods would have missed the cut in back-to-back events for the first time in his professional career if he had failed to reach the weekend at the TPC at Sawgrass.
In addition to Woods, who fired a four-under par 68, seventy-one other players made the cut, including last week’s winner Rickie Fowler, who shot a second-round 69 as part of Woods’ group and is at 3 under for the tournament. Fowler had been 0-for-2 at The Players.
Woods, in a tie for 30th, trails a trio of leaders by six shots —Zach Johnson, Matt Kuchar and KevinNa.
“I probably could have gotten one or two more out of (the round),” USA Today quotes Woods as saying. “But I really played well today. I was just very consistent, and nothing spectacular, just real solid golf. … I was trying to just keep plugging along. I ended up making four in a row there. And then at 12 I had just a little flip sand wedge in there and make par, and I thought I stuffed it there at 13. It was a foot or two from being a kick-in. It would have been a really nice stretch there.
“I was trying to shoot my number (66) today, and I thought that would put me four or five back. I figured that would have been a good way to go into the weekend, being probably four or five back. It would have put me four back.
While Woods’ burst of birdies help ensure his spot at TPC Sawgrass, Rory McIlroy didn’t fare as well.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the U.S. Open champion, who only last week lost in a three-way playoff at Quail Hollow, opened his second round with a birdie — and then didn’t make another one and instead came come with five bogeys.
He shot 76 and missed the cut for the first time in more than a year, though it wasn’t unusual at TPC Sawgrass. In three appearances at the Players Championship, McIlroy has never broken par or made the cut.
“Hopefully, I’m coming back here for another 20 years,” McIlroy, just 23-years-old, said. “If I don’t figure it out on my 20th, there’s something wrong.”
ESPN breaks down Tiger Woods’ second round play at TPC Sawgrass in the video below: