He's playing extremely well. Take a look at the numbers from ESPN Stats & Info:
ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo
After yesterday's 67, 12 of Tiger Woods' last 13 rounds have been sub-par. Woods is 42-under in that span.2013-5-10 13:45:45
After two rounds, he sits at 10-under par for the tournament after shooting another 67 on Friday. Woods finished his day just one stroke behind leader Sergio Garcia.
Sometimes Woods dominates coverage even when he's not in serious contention, which makes sense because he's the most polarizing player on the PGA Tour.
It is almost as if golf fans feel guilty for following Tiger's every move. They shouldn't.
Like it or not, Matt Osborne of ESPN Radio in Georgia is dead on with this tweet:
Matt Osborne @MattOsborne200
Man, golf is so much more entertaining when Tiger Woods is in contention.2013-5-10 15:36:13
Woods must be aware that Rory McIlroy is hot on his tail.
Tiger wants to hold off the 24-year-old in this tournament and in the world rankings. Justin Ray of ESPN tells us what's at stake for Tiger at The Players Championship—aside from the tournament itself:
Justin Ray @JustinRayGC
Rory McIlroy can regain the world number 1 position this week with a win and Tiger Woods finishing worse than 13th alone.2013-5-10 15:30:45
If Woods continues to play as he has over the first two days. I think he's a safe bet to finish higher than 13th. Here's a look at his day.
10th Hole: Par 4, 424 yards
Tiger handled the 10th hole on Friday the same way he did on Thursday. Beginning his day with a birdie had to be great for his confidence. After a five-under 67 in the first round, gaining another stroke was optimal.
Overall: -6 Thru 1
11th Hole: Par 5, 535 yards
Woods missed an opportunity on the 11th. For him to really take control of this tournament, he needs to max out on the par fives. He played this hole even after grabbing a birdie here on Thursday.
He wasn't very happy with the par, but then again, he's always upset with anything short of a birdie. MeetGolfers.com shared my sentiments via Twitter:
Shots which Tiger Woods gets pissed at are the shots where I kneel down and kiss the fairway, clubs etc.2013-5-10 15:17:09
Overall: -6 Thru 2
12th Hole: Par 4, 358 yards
If you want to know why Woods is playing so well at TPC Sawgrass this year, just look at what he's done on the par fours. For the second day in a row, he birdied the 12th hole.
At this point in the day, fans and players had to take notice.
Overall: -7 Thru 3
13th Hole: Par 3, 181 yards
There is no shame in walking away from this par-three hole even. Especially long hitters like Tiger can sometimes struggle on a hole like this, but for the second day in a row, Tiger held his ground.
Overall: -7 Thru 4
14th Hole: Par 4, 467 yards
This is a tough hole, and it showed for Tiger on Friday. It is the longest par four on the course, and Woods stumbled here. On Thursday he was able to escape with a par.
He was actually fortunate to only lose one shot, though. He mishit his first two shots but got lucky bounces that prevented things from getting worse.
Overall: -6 Thru 5
15th Hole: Par 4, 449 yards
After nailing his tee shot, Tiger didn't hit his second shot quite as well. He had to settle for the two-putt par. It's not exactly the recovery he would have liked after the bogey on 14, but it's good he didn't allow the misstep to throw him completely out of rhythm.
Overall: -6 Thru 6
16th Hole: Par 5, 507 yards
Remember what I said about Tiger taking advantage of the opportunities to make a move on the par fives? This is more like it.
For the second day in a row, Tiger came away with a birdie on this hole. He had a decent shot at an eagle, but he couldn't sink it. He still took back the stroke he lost on 14 to get back to seven under.
Overall: -7 Thru 7
17th Hole: Par 3, 137 yards
For the second straight day, Woods did not slip up on the scary 17th hole. He comes away with another par, and since he's already playing so well, he has to be happy with this result.
Overall: -7 Thru 8
18th Hole: Par 4, 447 yards
Woods had his only bogey of the first round on this hole, but he was determined not to give another shot back. He missed a tough 24-foot uphill putt for birdie, earning a par as he headed for the turn.
Overall: -7 Thru 9
First Hole: Par 4, 392 yards
A mediocre second shot overshadowed another strong tee shot. Woods still salvaged par to stay at seven under. Little did we know the major move would come on the next hole.
Overall: -7 Thru 10
Second Hole: Par 5, 532 yards
Now this is how you seize the opportunity on a par five. Tiger sunk a 20-foot eagle putt to move to nine under and a tie for the lead.
OK, who's paying attention now?
Jason Sobel @JasonSobelESPN
Tiger Woods eagles the second hole and he's now tied for the lead. Easily the best he's looked at TPC Sawgrass in over a decade.2013-5-10 15:43:50
PGA TOUR @PGATOUR
ICYMI: Tiger Woods eagles the 2nd hole to tie for the lead at @THEPLAYERSChamp. Video >> http://t.co/jtiOmLve4b2013-5-10 16:52:27
Overall: -9 Thru 11
Third Hole: Par 3, 177 yards
Tiger showed some rare emotion early in a tournament after his eagle putt on the second hole. But he had composed himself to stay the course on this par three.
He will almost always be fine if he does well on the par fives and stays even on the short holes.
Overall: -9 Thru 12
Fourth Hole: Par 4, 384 yards
Tiger was officially feeling it. He took the lead with another birdie here on the fourth hole. The five-foot putt wasn't a gimme by any stretch. It was fast, and it took good touch to keep from over-hitting it.
He became the first to reach double digits under par.
Jason Sobel @JasonSobelESPN
Another birdie for Tiger Woods. Now in sole possession of the lead. Uh-oh. Starting to look like it might be one of *those* weeks.2013-5-10 16:10:09
Larry Fitzgerald Sr. @FitzBeatSr
The man dressed in black head to toe Tiger Woods -10 has the out right lead at the Players Championship!2013-5-10 16:10:00
Kyle Inman @DrHoopenstein
Tiger Woods beast mode2013-5-10 16:27:04
Overall: -10 Thru 13
Fifth Hole: Par 4, 466 yards
Tiger had to scramble a bit on this hole. Garcia had moved into a tie with Woods at 10 under, so Tiger needed to steady himself.
Michael Whitmer @MichaelTWhitmer
4 straight birdies by Sergio Garcia (Nos. 2-5) has the Spaniard -9 and 1 behind Tiger Woods. Great leaderboard developing here.2013-5-10 16:26:22
He did and maintained par to remain at 10 under.
Overall: -10 Thru 14
Sixth Hole: Par 4, 393 yards
On a hole that can be problematic, Woods stayed solid with another par. There are a few holes on this course where players should be content with a par. This is one of them.
Overall: -10 Thru 15
Seventh Hole: Par 4, 442 yards
This isn't what Tiger needed heading into the final two holes of the day. He mishit his tee shot as he tried to play the hole right-to-left, but he still had a chance to walk away with par.
Unfortunately for Tiger, he didn't sink a moderately difficult par putt and had to settle for bogey. It was an inopportune time to slip.
Garcia continued his torrid pace with a birdie on the eighth hole. At this point, he was two shots ahead of Woods.
Overall: -9 Thru 16
Eighth Hole: Par 3, 219 yards
Tiger faced a tough 30-foot uphill putt for birdie on this hole. He didn't sink it, but the solid effort put him in a good position to nail the par putt.
He did and stayed at nine under overall.
Overall: -9 Thru 17
Ninth Hole: Par 5, 583 yards
After his tee shot went left, Tiger recovered to find the green on his third shot. Woods stepped up and sank a birdie putt to get to 10 under to finish his day.
PGA TOUR @PGATOUR
Five birdies & an eagle for Tiger Woods leads to a 67 in round two. Tiger first to post -10, one behind Sergio (-11). #THEPLAYERS2013-5-10 17:28:27
Overall: -10 Thru 18
Outlook for Final Two Rounds
Despite the two bogeys, Woods was again very sharp. The weekend will come down to who blinks first. The weather conditions have been spectacular, and if things remain beautiful in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., the low scores should continue.
The way Woods is playing, I wouldn't bet against him in great conditions.
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