Tiger Woods is back in action after sitting out last week with a neck injury. After 18 holes at TPC Sawgrass, Woods stood at two under, thanks to six birdies he carded during an up-and-down first round.
In fact, Woods made five birdies on his front nine alone Thursday, offset by three bogeys. “I hit some bad shots early, rectified that, made a few adjustments, and then went about my business,” Woods said after the round. “Then the [second] nine…made one par, so that was interesting.”
Woods begins his second round at 8:32 a.m. local time, playing alongside Patrick Reed and defending Players champion Webb Simpson.
PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND 2 LIVE BLOG (ET)
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8:17: Woods is warming up on the driving range, hitting driver. It’s a bit chilly this morning at Sawgrass. TW has the sweater vest on.
8:35: Tiger takes 3-wood off the 10th tee and finds the fairway. Here. We. Go.
8:41: Tiger tosses in a wedge that spins back to about 14 feet for birdie. Should have a pretty straight putt.
8:45: Tiger had 15 feet for his birdie, but burns the edge and cleans up his par putt. Not a bad start at all.
9:02: LONGGGGGG wait for Tiger, Webb and Reed on the 11th tee. Finally gets to tee off and Tiger pulverizes one into the fairway.
9:10: Tiger rips a 3-wood up and over the trees left of the green. It collects into a chipping area and he’ll have a decent chance to get up and down for birdie.
9:15: Tiger bumps his pitch up to about 14 feet. Will have that for birdie.
9:20: Keegan Bradley is off and running (again). Just one week after he held the 36-hole lead, he’s one clear of the field at eight under.
9:23: Tiger smashes his putt past the hole. Not a good read. Makes his 3-footer coming back for a par-par start.
9:28: Tiger hits driver up toward the 304-yard par-4. Flares just a touch right but is pin high. He’ll have about 25 yards for an up-and-down birdie again.
9:33: PHENOMENAL CHIP. Tiger bumps one into the bank short of the green and it rolls out to six inches. Tap in birdies are nice!
9:40: Tiger’s approach into the 152-yard, par-3 13th BARELY clears the water. Much like his approach into 17 Thursday, Tiger’s shot lands one foot clear of the edge and spins to the edge of the green. Still will be a decent birdie look of about 15 feet.
9:45: BOOM! Tiger makes the tricky birdie on 13 to reach four under for the event. That’s three back of Bradley and Fleetwood. Take a look at his awkward stance below.
9:49: Tiger smokes another drive into the fairway. Feeling that club right now. A very solid start to the round.
9:56: From 208 out, Tiger draws his ball into the left edge of the 14th green. He’ll have 50 feet or more for a two-putt par.
10:04: Tiger cozies his first putt (from 52 feet) to about four feet left. Cleans that up for another par. Not dropping any shots right now.
10:06: ANOTHER BLISTERED DRIVE by Woods, and into the fairway. Guy is dialed in right now.
10:14: From 168 out, Tiger tosses in a shot that stops immediately on the green. About 25 feet left for birdie.
10:17: Leaves this thing two cups outside the left, but it’s another easy par cleanup.
10:24: Another driver, another smoked tee shot for Tiger. He has not missed with that club once today.
10:30: Tiger’s approach from 225 flares right. He disappointedly says, “Aw, mud ball.” Luckily, it caught some turf and he’ll have a chance to get up and down for birdie.
10:35: Tiger smashed his eagle putt from just off the green. It rolled and rolled and rolled, uphill the entire way. Will have about four feet for birdie.
10:38: AND IT’S IN. On to 17.
10:42: Momentum. Lost. Tiger goes long and left on the island green, trickling off the back side and into the hazard.
10:46: MORE. MOMENTUM. LOST. Tiger takes a drop and goes long from the drop zone and into the hazard. Pitches on and will have a putt at triple bogey.
10:49: Tiger two putts for a quadruple bogey. Everything that went well thus far today is washed away. He’s now one under for the event.
10:54: Woods finds the fairway with a 3-wood off 18th tee. This hole is just not easy.
10:59: Tiger’s approach comes up short and left of the hole. He’ll have some 40 feet for a two-putt par.
11:04: Uphill putt the entire way (45 feet) and Tiger leaves it six feet short.
11:09: Tiger turns in one over after cleaning up the par putt on 18. If you want to feel sad, just know that was over par after hitting every fairway. YIKES.
11:11: Meanwhile, there are five men tied atop the leaderboard at seven under.
11:17: At the par-4 1st, Tiger pulls and driver and hits it into the left rough. He should have a decent lie from there.
11:19: With just 119 yards left, Tiger hits his wedge to the front of the green. It’s not quite as close as he would like (about 20 feet), but at least it’s dry.
11:22: Tiger’s putt is actually a good 30 feet from the hole. He hits a nice one and nestles it up near the cup. He’ll tap that in for an easy par. That’ll stop the bleeding, but he needs birdies right now.
11:28: Next up is the par-5 2nd hole. Tiger hits his drive and tries to cut it into the fairway, but it hits a branch and ends up in the left rough.
11:35: Despite a tough lie in the rough, Tiger decides to go for the green in 2 at the 2nd. His fairway wood comes up short, but he should have an easy chip to set up a birdie chance.
11:38: Tiger has a decent lie for his third shot, but almost no green to work with. No matter, he hits a low-running beauty that bounces onto the green and settles just four feet away. Looks like another birdie is incoming.
11:42: That’s more like it! Tiger drains his short birdie try to get one shot back from the disaster at 17. He’s now -2 and one above the cut line.
11:44: Now Tiger has to navigate another watery par-3 at the 3rd hole. This time his shot stays dry but finishes on the front of the green, a good distance from the hole. He needs to drop a bomb to make birdie here.
11:48: The actual distance for Tiger’s putt is 39 feet. He doesn’t make the best attempt and leaves himself with a few feet for par.
11:52: And it’s good. Tiger cleans up for par to remain at -2 for the tournament, even par on the day. He’s currently six shots off the lead, so he’s still in the hunt despite his swim at 17.
11:54: At the short par-4 4th, Tiger chooses 5-wood and hits a low stinger down the left side of the fairway that ends up in the first cut.
12:00: Tiger has 136 yards left for his second shot at 4, but the flag is hidden by a swale in his sightline. He hits a nice one that finishes about 25 feet away from the cup.
12:05: Tiger for birdie from 28-feet… and he can’t convert. He now has a good three feet left for par, true knee-knocker length.
12:08: He’s taking a loooong time looking at this 3+-footer for par at the 4th… but no worries, he drains it with a confident stroke. Still at -2 heading to the 5th.
12:09: The 5th at Sawgrass is a toughie. The 466-yard par-4 demands a drive over water to a narrow fairway.
12:11: Tiger smashes his drive just into the left rough, but it’s sitting up and shouldn’t pose any problems for him.
12:17: He finds the green in regulation, but once again he’s left himself a long lag putt. He’s not going to make a lot of birdies coming in if this continues. He has 58 feet left for birdie.
12:21: Tiger makes an attempt at his long birdie putt with caddie Joe LaCava tending the flagstick, and he nearly makes it. It trails off to the left before reaching the cup. 2-3-footer for par.
12:23: And his par putt is good. Tiger’s been really solid on the short putts today, and lag putts as well. He just hasn’t hit it close enough for good birdie chances on his second nine.
12:27: The par-4 6th is next, which is playing just under 400 yards today. Tiger forgoes driver for a low stinger with his 5-wood. It’s a good one that stops on the right side of the fairway.
12:32: The hole is cut at the back of the green at 6, with trouble lurking behind the green. Tiger hits a decent one that ends up on the green, but once again he has a long way to go for birdie, 30 feet to be exact.
12:40: Tiger can’t convert the birdie putt from 30 feet, leaving himself 2 feet for par. He drops that to remain at -2 for the tournament with three holes to play.
12:43: For the first time in a while, Tiger hits driver off the 7th tee, and it’s a very good one. He needs to find a birdie or two on this closing stretch.
12:50: WOW! Tiger nearly holes out for eagle with his second at 7. It stops just inches from the cup, so that will be a definite birdie for the Big Cat.
12:53: Tiger taps in for birdie at 7 and moves to -3 for the tournament with two to play. If he hadn’t made that quad at 17, he would be one-shot back right now.
12:55: Tiger’s second-to-last hole today is the long par-3 8th, which is playing 235 yards on Friday. Tiger has the honors and hits a nice one safely on the green.
12:59: There are 33 feet between Tiger’s ball and the cup on the 8th green. He could really use a birdie bomb here to keep pace with the leaders.
1:03: Tiger’s long birdie putt is wide right all the way, but he gets it close enough for a stress-free par.
1:05: Here’s a look at Tiger’s near hole out at 7:
1:07: Now for the final hole of the day, the par-5 9th. Tiger takes a mighty swing with his driver off the tee and he loses it right. It nearly finds another water hazard, but stops just short of it in some rough. He might not be able to go for the green in 2 from there.
1:11: Tiger’s lie isn’t horrible in the rough on 9, but he has 305 yards left to the green, so it’s hard to imagine him going for it here.
1:14: He does indeed elect to layup instead of go for the green, and he hits a nice one to set up a wedge with his third shot.
1:18: Tiger hits a beauty into the 9th green with his third shot. He will have a 15-footer to close out his round with another birdie.
1:24: Tiger for birdie at the last… and it doesn’t drop. Not the best putt he’s hit all day, but he taps in for par to finish with a one-under 71, which is pretty good considering his quad at 17. So, through 36 holes Tiger finds himself at -3, well above the cut line and currently just five shots off the lead.