Stan Badz/PGA TOUR Conditions have been perfect the first two days of THE PLAYERS.
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — The second round of THE PLAYERS Championship is under way from TPC Sawgrass, where we’ll have updates from throughout the day. Get the latest news, notes and more, and leave your comments below.
QUICK RECAP: Three tied for lead
Zach Johnson parlayed a round of 66, which tied for Friday’s low, into a share of the lead at the midway point of THE PLAYERS Championship.
The 2007 Masters champ is 8 under and shares the top spot with Kevin Na and Matt Kuchar. Na shot a 69 that included a birdie at the 17th hole while Kuchar shot his second straight 68.
Harris English, who was studying for final exams a year ago at the University of Georgia, is alone in fourth at 7 under. THE PGA TOUR rookie shot as 67 in the second round that included 11- and 15-foot birdies on his last two holes.
The group at 6 under includes 2004 PLAYERS champ Adam Scott, Charlie Wi, Jonathan Byrd, Brian Davis and Martin Laird, who held a share of the overnight lead but shot 73 on Friday. The other first-round co-leader, Ian Poulter, struggled to a 76.
Tiger Woods roared back with a 68 that took him from below the cutline to 2 under through 36 holes. His playing partner, Rickie Fowler, only made one par on the back nine in shooting a 69 that left him 3 under for the tournament.
World No. 2 Luke Donald, who had only made four eagles all year, had two in his round of 69 and joined Fowler at 3 under. Rory McIlroy, who replaced Donald at the top of the world rankings last week, shot 76 and missed the cut.
Phil Mickelson, who won THE PLAYERS in 2007 and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame on Monday, is also among the group at 2 under. Lee Westwood, who tied for fourth at THE PLAYERS in 2010, is 3 under after Friday’s 70.
LIVE UPDATES (All times ET)
6:34 p.m. — Kevin Na had a 15-footer to take sole possession of the lead at the 17th hole. He missed but that 69 he shot may have landed him in Saturday’s final group with Zach Johnson — if Matt Kuchar doesn’t birdie the 18th hole to take sole possession of the lead.
6:17 p.m. — A 7-foot birdie putt on the infamous 17th hole has pulled Kevin Na into a tie for the lead at 8 under with Zach Johnson, who shot 66 in the morning wave, and Matt Kuchar, who hhas three holes remaining.
6 p.m. — Tiger Woods just made his first mistake since the fifth hole, bogeying the par-4 14th after driving it in the rough and hitting his approach to the back of the green. He failed to get up and down and drops back to 3 under on the day and 1 under for the tournament.
5:40 p.m. — Matt Kuchar has suddenly moved into a tie for the lead after a birdie on the 13th, where he bombed in a 45-footer to get to 4 under on the day and 8 under for the week. Kuchar has three birdies over his last six holes.
5:25 p.m. — Tiger Woods’ birdie streak just ended at four after his 13-footer on the 12th hole slid past the hole. The left-to-right putt didn’t break as much as Woods expected and he had to settle for par.
5:10 p.m. — Tiger Woods’ eagle putt from 20 feet on the par-5 11th slid past the hole, but he still made birdie — his fourth in a row — to get to 4 under on his round and 2 under for the week. Woods is now six shots off the lead of Zach Johnson and Kevin Na.
4:55 p.m. — Tiger Woods has also made three straight birdies after birdieing the par-5 ninth then sticking his approach on the 10th hole to 5 feet. That moves him two shots inside the cut line at 1 under for the tournament. Meanwhile, Brian Gay just eagled the par-4 12th, holing out from 80 yards with a 60-degree wedge. He’s now 2 under for the week.
4:45 p.m. — Make that three straight birdies for Kevin Na, who stuck his approach on the par-4 12th to 5 feet and made the putt. He’s now 4 under on the round and alone in the lead at 9 under.
4:38 p.m. — There hasn’t been a lot of movement up the leaderboard in the afternoon wave, but Kevin Na just tied for the lead with his second straight birdie after rolling in a 14-footer on the par-5 11th. Na is 3 under on the day and 8 under for the week and tied with Zach Johnson atop the leaderboard.
Ehrmann/Getty ImagesKevin Na moved up the leaderboard with a 69.
4:30 p.m. — Briny Baird withdrew after 13 holes Friday, citing a left shoulder injury. Baird was 3 over on his round and 7 over for the tournament.
4:15 p.m. — Tiger Woods just made his second birdie of the day, rolling in a 9-footer on the 241-yard par-3 eighth to get back to 1 under on his round and 1 over on the tournament. He’s still off the cutline, however.
3:45 p.m. — Ian Poulter continues to plummet. The overnight co-leader who shot a 65 on Thursday, is now 5 over through six holes after a bogey on the par-4 15th. Earlier in his round he doubled the par-3 13th after hitting his tee shot into the water. He also doubled the par-4 10th.
3:20 p.m. — One hole after making his first birdie of the day, Tiger Woods gave it right back with a bogey on the par-4 fifth, where he missed the green and failed to get up-and-down, missing a 15-footer to save par. That drops Woods back to 2 over for the week and two strokes outside the cut line.
3 p.m. — The cut is still holding steady at even par with 77 players at that number or better. Tiger Woods is still on the wrong side of the ledger at 1 over He’s not the only notable player in danger of an early exit. Vijay Singh, Sergio Garcia, Keegan Bradley and Hunter Mahan are all also 1 over at the moment. Gary Woodland is 3 over and defending champion K.J. Choi is another stroke back. No one, by the way, has ever successfully defended here.
2:36 p.m. — Tiger Woods has now played 29 par 5s in his last three tournaments — counting THE PLAYERS — and he’s only 4 under on those holes. He just failed to birdie the par-5 second, which was the easiest hole on the Stadium Course on Thursday, two-putting from 41 feet.
2:20 p.m. — Scott Verplank just withdrew from THE PLAYERS early in his second round with a wrist injury. Verplank had shot 72 in the first round but was 6 over through five holes when he withdrew.
1:58 p.m. — Ian Poulter got off to a rough start with a double bogey at his first hole, the par-4 10th where he hit his second shot over the green, chipped to the fringe and three-putted from 44 feet.
1:31 p.m. — He may have bogeyed the 18th hole Friday but Zach Johnson still owns the lead at 8 under. Johnson missed the green at the difficult par 4 and later failed to convert a 5-footer to save par. Eight previous birdies helped compensate, though, and brought him home with a 66.
1:22 p.m. — Charlie Wi is competing in THE PLAYERS for the fifth time this week, with last year’s tie for 41st his best finish. He’s in great position through two rounds after posting a career-low 67 Friday at the Stadium Course to move to 6 under and two shots off Jonathan Byrd’s lead. Wi, who is seeking his first TOUR win, already has two top-four finishes this year.
1:01 p.m. — There’s a new name at the top of the leaderboard as Zach Johnson birdied the par-5 16th hole to move to 9 under. Martin Laird, the overnight co-leader, meanwhile, is struggling up ahead — hitting his second shot into the water at the 16th hole on the way to a bogey, then finding the wet stuff again at the par-3 17th and making double — and now is 7 under.
12:45 p.m. — Don’t look now but Bill Haas is playing well in another of the PGA TOUR’s marquee events. Haas, who earned the FedExCup when he won a playoff at the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola last year, is 2 under through 15 holes and three strokes off the lead.
12:25 p.m. — It’s not necessarily a distinction you want to have but Fredrik Jacobson has hit the first ball in the water at the 17th hole. His tee shot traveled long and left, then his second from the drop area found dry land, 47 feet from the pin. A two-putt later the Swede had his second-double bogey of the day.
12:15 p.m. — Charlie Wi has just made a 10-foot birdie putt at the 17th hole — just the fourth birdie of the day on the famed island green — to move into that five-way tie for second. He’s 6 under for the day and 7 under for the tournament, two strokes behind Martin Laird.
Lyons/Getty ImagesZach Johnson shot a 66 on Friday.
12:05 p.m. — Birdies on three of his last four holes have moved Zach Johnson into a tie for second with his good friend Jonathan Byrd, Adam Scott and overnight leader Ian Poulter, who tees off at 1:39 p.m. Johnson finished solo second earlier this year at Harbour Town, another Pete Dye track.
11:51 a.m. — A year ago, Harris English was studying for exams. This week he finds himself at the PGA TOUR’s signature event — among the leaders, too — after playing the front nine in 32. English has hit 5 of 7 fairways and 8 of 9 greens on the front nine while using just 13 putts to move to 5 under for the tourament.
11:37 a.m. — Luke Donald has just made his second eagle of the day — rolling in a 23-footer at the second hole, his 11th of the round — to move to 5 under. The world No. 2 also eagled No. 16 with a 5-foot putt.
11:20 a.m. — Jonathan Byrd has joined Martin Laird in the lead at 8 under after back-to-back birdies as he made the turn. Byrd, who rolled in birdie putts of 17 and 15 feet at Nos. 1 and 2, is 4 under for the day.
11 a.m. — Ian Poulter, who held a share of the overnight lead has had a leisurely start to the day. According to his tweets, the alarm went off at 10 a.m. and he headed to the beach for a run in advance of his 1:39 p.m. tee time. Turns out it was an interesting job: "Just seen a pack of dolphins just 100 yards out in the ocean. Not every day you see dolphins at a tournament," he tweeted.
10:35 a.m. — Another birdie for Charlie Wi, who just got up-and-down from a greenside bunker on the par-5 11th. He now has birdies on two of his last three holes and is 7 under and now two shots back of Martin Laird, who just birdied the ninth hole to turn in 34.
10:15 a.m. — Martin Laird’s see-saw with the top of the leaderboard continues with Laird moving back to 8 under after bouncing back from his bogey with a birdie on the fifth hole. He’s made two pars since and is one clear of Ian Poulter. Charlie Wi, meanwhile, just turned in 31 with four birdies over his last six holes. Wi has the flat stick working with 12 putts through his first nine holes.
9:50 a.m. — Three Mayakoba Golf Classic winners are playing together on Friday. Johnson Wagner, the 2011 champ, is 3 under for the tournament and even par for the day. TOUR rookie John Huh, who won the event in February, is 3 under through four holes and even par for the tournament while Mark Wilson, the ’09 champ, is 1 under for the day and flirting with the cut at 1 over for the tournament.
9:15 a.m. — Martin Laird’s solo lead was short-lived — he bogeyed the fourth hole after three-putting from 50 feet. Laird is now back to 7 under and tied for the lead again with Ian Poulter, who will tee off at 1:39 p.m. Meanwhile, Jonathan Byrd has moved to within a shot of the lead after two birdies in his first six holes.
9 a.m. — The second round is under way from TPC Sawgrass and already Martin Laird has pulled into the lead by himself after a birdie on the par-5 second to get to 8 under and one shot clear of overnight co-leader Ian Poulter. Also out early: the Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlRoy and Steve Stricker group (click here to follow live).