Players Championship 2013 Leaderboard: Complete Outlook Heading into Round 3
After Roberto Castro set TPC Sawgrass on fire with a course-tying 63 on Thursday, things got back down to earth in the second round of the 2013 Players Championship on Friday.
That doesn't mean the golf was any less satisfying for viewers.
Sergio Garcia had the low score on Friday afternoon in Ponte Vedra Beach, firing a 65 to take a one-stroke lead over a very even field on one of the PGA Tour's toughest 18-hole courses. Behind him, Tiger Woods is one stroke off the pace and in second place, while Lee Westwood headlines a trio sitting just two strokes behind the leader.
Although some of golf's biggest names ended up missing the cut (Phil Mickelson, Justin Rose, Keegan Bradley), the final two days at TPC Sawgrass are poised to be an exciting test of Pete Dye's designs and should push the field the same way that a major tournament would.
Check out the current leaderboard below and a few golfers to watch as we head for an exciting finish in Florida this weekend.
For a complete look at the Players Championship leaderboard, click here.
2013 Players Championship Leaderboard
Day 3 Golfers to Watch
Despite over a decade-long drought at TPC Sawgrass, Woods' performance in Florida this year has been something special.
In addition to hitting 75 percent of his greens in regulation, Woods has been one of the best putters on Tour yet again on Friday. His two-day putts per green currently sits at 1.6, indicative of his Tour-leading strokes gained putting stat from his early tournament appearances this year.
Where will Tiger finish at TPC Sawgrass?
Woods followed up his stellar five-under opening round with the same score on Friday, hitting five birdies and an eagle to cover up his two-bogey effort.
Starting on hole No. 10, Woods hit four of his five birdies in his opening nine holes. He continued his dominance on Nos. 10, 12 and 16—he's birdied the three holes on each of the first two days at the Players.
He added an eagle on No. 2 after he got going on the back nine and finished the day in the same position he did on Thursday—with a score of 65 and a place right near the top of the leaderboard.
Woods is surging right now, fresh off a tied-for-fourth finish at the Masters and four other tournament wins this season. He'll be paired with Garcia on Saturday afternoon, and you get the feeling watching his game that taking the lead on Saturday could mean a runaway victory on Sunday.
The reigning champion of the Players Championship, Kuchar is near the top of the leaderboard after two days of play on Friday.
Just a day after he struggled on Thursday, Kuchar cupped seven birdies on Friday afternoon and is only four strokes off the pace when things open up on Saturday afternoon. He's starting to hit his stride in Florida this week and certainly has a game suited for the rigorous perils at TPC Sawgrass.
One of golf's most consistent performers over the last year-and-a-half, Kuchar recently finished tied for eighth at the Masters and already won the WGC Accenture Match Play tournament earlier in the year.
With another win on Sunday, Kuchar would be the first player to ever win back-to-back Players Championships.
He's in position to do just that, as his strong Round 2 finish should make him a player to watch over the final two days in Florida.
Not many knew about or had even heard about the 2009 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year before the 2013 Masters, but after another top-10 finish at the RBC Heritage and two good rounds at TPC Sawgrass, Leishman is again near the top of the leaderboard at a big tournament.
It's becoming a trend on Tour.
This is easily the best three-tournament stretch of the big Australian's career, and he's just five strokes off the pace when the action picks up again on Saturday afternoon.
Leishman was disappointing in the first round, but he fired a 66 (tied with Kuchar for the second-best score of the day) on Friday to move up the leaderboard several spots and prove that his consistency has not skipped a beat with some of golf's best on the course.
Finishing his day with an eagle on No. 18, Leishman capped a stellar round with a bang. He hit a remarkable 92.86 percent of his fairway drives on Friday, up a full 60 percent from what he did in the first round (28.57).
He also hit over 70 percent of his greens in regulation on both days and is quietly one of the guys who could make a big move up the money list and the world rankings if he keeps performing like this in big moments.
Two days are in the books at one of the PGA Tour's hardest professional courses. We'll see how the final two days shape up, and if there's any more history to be made at TPC Sawgrass this week.
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