PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Tiger Woods’ second round featured 17 textbook holes and, well, the 17th hole. Some thoughts from Day 2 at The Players:
· There’s no way to sugarcoat this, Tiger’s day was defined by the surreal 15 minutes that it took him to play the par-3 17th hole after his tee shot bounced onto the green, ran along the walkway and trickled into the water. It was just the fifth time he’d hit into the water on the iconic island green in his career. From the drop area he hit a “flat” wedge that never had a chance to hold the green and walked away with a quadruple-bogey 7. “I was pretty ticked and was bound and determined to get it all back,” he said.
· Otherwise, Tiger’s day was flawless with five birdies and no bogeys for a second-round 71 that left him at 3 under for the week and tied for 28th place, six shots off the lead, when he signed his card.
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· The highlight of the round came at the par-4 seventh hole when he spun a wedge nearly into the hole and had a tap-in for birdie to move back under par for the day. “I thought that would have been a hell of a fight (to get back to 5 under). Ended up getting back to 3 (under), still was a good fight to get to that point, but as of right now I’m six back, which is definitely doable on this golf course,” he said.
· Although Tiger did a solid job of holding things together after his train wreck at No. 17, his putting is still a concern. For the second consecutive day he needed 30 putts and he ranks 32nd in the field in strokes gained: putting.
· The biggest benefit for Tiger heading into the weekend may be the weather forecast. The winds are expected to increase and turn out of the north and rain is expected on Sunday, which could turn a relatively low-scoring week into a grind and exactly what Tiger likes. “Right now the golf course is playing really short, even for this time of year,” he said. “Everyone who makes the cut, anyone who makes the cut has a chance to win this golf tournament.”
· He was also asked if he plans to play next week’s Valspar Championship, where he finished second last year. “I don’t know, let me go have lunch first,” he said. Making the cut at The Players likely takes the Valspar Championship off the schedule because he would be reluctant to play three weeks in a row.