Some more excellent golf from Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy on Friday is threatening to turn the Players Championship into a two-horse race.
The British duo share a three-shot on 12 under lead after the second round at TPC Sawgrass, with Fleetwood posting rounds of 65 and 67 and McIlroy matching him with rounds of 67 and 65.
McIlroy can thank a late charge up the leaderboard which saw him go seven under par for his final 11 holes, which included an eagle on the par-five 16th and a birdie on the iconic par-three 17.
“It was just another good day on the golf course. I did everything pretty much the way I wanted to,” said McIlroy, who is once again putting himself in a potentially winning position, as he has already done six times in 2019. “My attitude has been great all year.”
“I felt like I came back well,” he added in reference to the bogey that opened his second round. “Once I got a birdie on the eighth it started to snowball.”
Fleetwood, meanwhile, stayed the course courtesy of another great round which included five birdies, an eagle and two bogeys. The eagle came courtesy of a chip-in from the bunker at the par-5 second.
Ian Poulter (66), Jim Furyk (64), Brian Harman (69) and Abraham Ancer (66) are tied for third three shots behind the leading duo.
Jason Day (66), Kevin Kisner (68) and recent first-time winner Keitch Mitchell (65) lie on eight under, four back.
Tiger Woods just made the cut after a one-under 71. His progress was seriously derailed by a quadruple bogey seven on the island-green 17th.
Woods first tee shot was long over the green and his next shot from the drop zone missed the target long as well.
Golf is hard.
Tiger Woods puts two in the water on No. 17. 💦 pic.twitter.com/xEqCMx04Z0
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 15, 2019
“I was pretty ticked, no doubt about that,” he said. “I was bound and determined to get it all back and get it back to five under.”
He rebounded on the back nine with a birdie on the par-five second hole and the par four seventh.
“I ended up getting back to three under,” Woods said. “It was a good fight to get it back to that point.”
The American sits atop the leaderboard despite a mixed third round on Saturday.
The Englishman saw a commanding lead cut after a stuttering back nine.
Brooks Koepka made a not-so-subtle dig at Bryson DeChambeau’s “anthill” moment from the first round in Memphis.
The tournament marked the resumption of the tour.
Horsfield fired an eagle and seven birdies in a second round of 63 at the Forest of Arden to share the halfway lead with Sebastian Garcia Rodriguez.
Koepka carded a superb 62 to take a two-stroke lead after the opening day.
A change in date from August to May last year placed the tournament second in line behind the Masters, in calendar terms at least.
The four-time major winner shot 62 in his opening round.
The Northern Irishman needs to win to reclaim the world number one spot from Jon Rahm.