Players Championship 2021: Lee Westwood Takes Lead with 2nd-Round 66

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 12, 2021

Lee Westwood, of England, chips to the green on the ninth hole during the second round of the The Players Championship golf tournament Friday, March 12, 2021, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

Lee Westwood shot 66 Friday to take over the lead after Round 2 at The Players Championship.

The 47-year-old sits at nine strokes under par for the tournament at TPC Sawgrass, one ahead of Matthew Fitzpatrick in second place. Sergio Garcia stood alone as the leader after a 65 in Round 1 but fell into a tie for third after he followed it up with a 72.

There is still a long list of competitors within striking distance with two days remaining, including big names like Bryson DeChambeau and Jon Rahm.


Round 2 Leaderboard

1. Lee Westwood (-9)

2. Matthew Fitzpatrick (-8)

T3. Sergio Garcia (-7)

T3. Chris Kirk (-7)

T5. Bryson DeChambeau (-6)

T5. Denny McCarthy (-6)

T5. Brian Harman (-6)

T5. Charley Hoffman (-6)

T5. Doug Ghim (-6)

T5. Sungjae Im (-6)

Full leaderboard and stats available at PGATour.com


Garcia was the star on Thursday and kept himself in contention with some more excellent shots throughout his second round.


222 yards ➡️ 4 inches. What a shot from @TheSergioGarcia! #QuickHits https://t.co/yS5sMH28Ot


THIS close to his fourth eagle of the tournament. 👀 @TheSergioGarcia birdies two of his last three and is two shots back heading into the weekend. #QuickHits https://t.co/cm3gZhvzqe

The problem was his consistency—he carded five bogeys in Round 2 after having just one in his first round.

The 2008 Players Championship winner remains in contention but could have been in much better shape if he avoided mistakes.

It kept the door open for other players on the leaderboard and Westwood especially took advantage.

The English golfer thrived with a bogey-free round featuring some elite putting:


From 30 feet for the co-lead. 🕳 @WestwoodLee gets to -7. #QuickHits https://t.co/t6bBgihmV5

Westwood finished 4.365 strokes gained putting in the round to surge up the leaderboard despite not crushing it off the tee.

His attitude might have also helped him along the way:

Shane Bacon @shanebacon

I said it last week and it continues - nobody in the world looks like they're having more fun on a golf course than Lee Westwood is right now. So content, so happy, just out in a park walking around. Guessing just about every golf fan in the world is rooting for this to continue.

Fitzpatrick used a similar strategy to help him shoot 68 in Round 2. He reached 83.3 percent of greens in regulation and excelled with his putting on his way to six birdies:


Three birdies thru six holes. 🐦 @MattFitz94 moves into a tie for the lead. #QuickHits https://t.co/m4LCLz6YdZ

Chris Kirk had the best round of the day with a 65 thanks to seven birdies and an eagle, putting him at seven-under for the tournament.

Even those a few strokes back can still climb in the next two rounds, including the red-hot DeChambeau after back-to-back rounds of 69. After his come-from-behind win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational last week, there is reason to believe in another comeback.

Justin Ray @JustinRayGolf

Bryson DeChambeau through 36 holes last week: 6-under, 3 shots back Bryson DeChambeau right now at TPC Sawgrass: 6-under, 3 shots back

Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas and Patrick Reed are also under par for the week and shouldn't be counted out heading into the weekend.

Several big names are also heading home after missing the cut, including Xander Schauffele, Rory McIlroy, Tony Finau, Patrick Cantlay and Rickie Fowler.

These players will try to regroup before the Masters next month.