Tiger Woods right on cut line after second-round 71 at The Players

Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports

Tiger Woods right on cut line after second-round 71 at The Players

PGA Tour

Tiger Woods right on cut line after second-round 71 at The Players

Tiger Woods’ second round of The Players Championship wasn’t as exciting as many fans probably would’ve hoped. Woods made just two birdies, struggled noticeably with his wedge play, and his supporting cast of Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler didn’t exactly light things up.

But Woods did manage to double his fairways hit total from Round 1, finding eight, and was a shot better on the scorecard, as well, carding a 1-under 71 to finish 36 holes at 1 under, right on the cut line as the afternoon wave was beginning at TPC Sawgrass.

Still, Woods, who will now wait and see if his performance will be good enough to make the cut, wasn’t happy with his approach game Friday. He hit 12 greens, but was never inside of 10 feet on those approaches.

“I didn’t hit it close enough,” Woods said. “The course could have been had today. It’s so hot, it’s playing short, the greens are receptive.”

Woods, who started on No. 10, hit three of his first five fairways and was close on the other two tee shots, yet he couldn’t card anything but par on his first six holes. He had four birdie putts from 15-20 feet during that stretch, but didn’t make any of them. At the short par-4 12th, Woods laid up and had just 77 yards in, but could only wedge it to 15 feet.

When Woods got to TPC Sawgrass’ iconic stretch, Nos. 16-18, he had a chance to do something special. He birdied the par-5 16th despite hitting his tee ball into the woods right. He followed with a tee shot to 10 feet at the par-3 17th.

But Woods missed the birdie on 17, and after hitting a lovely stinger into the fairway at the par-4 18th, a hole where he found the water with the same shot on Thursday, Woods fanned an iron shot right and into a tough lie. He bogeyed to fall back to even par.

But Woods hung tough. Below the cut line, he parred Nos. 1 and 2 before making a 17-footer for birdie at the par-3 third to move back into the red and above the cut line.

He continued to hit fairways, but Woods just couldn’t hit enough greens to really do any damage and further distance himself from that cut line. Even when he did find greens on the back, he was consistently 35-plus feet away from the hole. (It nearly didn’t matter at the par-3 eighth, though, as Woods lipped out a 40-footer for birdie.)

When he arrived at the par-5 ninth, the same hole he eagled on Thursday, Woods was still 1 under and needing a birdie to solidify his spot in the weekend. He missed he fairway left but was able to lay up to 100 yards. However, Woods continued his wedge struggles by missing some 30 feet right.

The two-putt par left Woods at 1 under. When he tapped home his final stroke, Woods was T-63 on the leaderboard. Now, he’ll have to sweat things out this afternoon to see if he’ll be around for an early tee time Saturday.

“I was just a touch off today,” Woods said. “… I had my chances.”

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