Woods insists he’s still in contention

He may be eight shots off the lead at Sawgrass, but Tiger Woods is adamant he can still go on and win the Players Championship.

Rounds of 73 and 71 have left the former World No 1 on level par for the tournament, well off the leading pace set by Kevin Na and Jerry Kelly on eight under par.

At one point, Woods looked in danger of missing his first Players cut in 17 appearances, but he rallied with a birdie at the par-five ninth, his final hole.

Woods punched the air when the vital birdie putt dropped and later told Sky Sports: “I figured it was probably not going to go to one over. We knew that playing the last couple of holes I needed to make birdie on one of the last two holes and I did.

“I haven’t got a lot out of my rounds. Each round I should have been probably a few under par. I just need to start capitalising on my opportunities.”

Woods is playing in only his fourth event of 2015, after a troubled stop-start season. A career-worst 82 and a withdrawal due to back pain marked his first appearances, but he returned two months later in the Masters and finished joint 17th.

“As of right now, if it stays the way it’s at, literally anybody who makes the cut can win the golf tournament,” Woods added.

“I don’t know what the lead is going to be at the end of the day, but right now there are over 70 guys within seven shots of each other. That’s unheard of.”