McIlroy misses Players cut, Tiger survives
World number one Rory McIlroy missed the cut at the Players Championship after shooting a four-over-par 76 in Friday’s second round which ended with a trio of Americans sharing the lead.
Zach Johnson, Kevin Na and Matt Kuchar were knotted at eight-under 136, a shot clear of compatriot Harris English.
But with five players sitting a further stroke adrift and the course likely to get tougher over the weekend, the event widely known as golf’s unofficial fifth major remains wide open.
One player who will not be able to make a move on Saturday is McIlroy, who has had a miserable record at the TPC Sawgrass course where he also missed the cut in his previous two appearances at the venue before skipping the event last year.
The Northern Irishman, who had not missed a cut since last year’s Wells Fargo Championship, carded five bogeys and one birdie on Friday for a two-day total of 148.
“There is something about this place I just can’t get to grips with,” McIlroy told reporters. “I just need to try and get the hang of this golf course somehow, it’s just - I find it pretty difficult but it’s just one of those weeks.”
Woods had to fight to avoid missing successive cuts for the first time in his professional career after shooting a 74 in his opening round.
Martin Laird, who shared the overnight lead with fellow Briton Ian Poulter, slipped two shots off the pace after carding a 73, his solid effort undone by a double-bogey at the ‘island green’ 17th, where he found water, and then a bogey on the 18th.
Poulter opened his second round on the back nine with a double-bogey on his first hole, the 10th, followed by another double at the par-three 13th.
However the fashion conscious Englishman recovered to card a four-over 76 that left him five strokes off the lead.