The PLAYERS 2018 Round Two
At the end of the second round of the 2018 Players Championship, American Webb Simpson is leading by five strokes on 15-under 129. Tied second are Patrick Cantlay, New Zealander Danny Lee and South African Charl Schwartzel on 10-under 134. Australia's Jason Day is two strokes behind them on 8-under 136.
Simpson's 9-under par 63 equals the course record. Only a handful of golfers have posted a 63 during the Players Championship. Those who have done so include Greg Norman. Simpson also tied the 36 hole tournament scoring record with his 15-under, that record set by Jason Day in 2016 [ref: Golf Channel].
Day's bogey-free round of 5-under 67 has driven him up the board by 19 places. Fellow Aussie Adam Scott has also advanced. His 4-under 68 lifted him 16 places and his 36 hole total is 7-under 137. Scott is happy with his result, saying it was "Definitely my best in a long time".
He added, "I'd like to have two more rounds in the 60s and see where that leaves me after 72 holes."
Simpson began the round strongly, tied at the top on 6-under 66. On Friday he was flying, with nine birdies and an eagle in the first 16 holes. From the 11th to the 16th birdies flew at every single hole. This tied the tournament's record for consecutive birdies. It included a 22 foot and a 28 foot on Nos. 13 and 15.
Simpson's playing partners watched in amazement and one seemed to wonder if Simpson had been gifted some kind of magic powers.
“Those putts were going in, they were just laughing,” Simpson said. “Tyrrell [Hatton] wanted me to touch his putter for him on 15, which I think is within the rules.”
The treacherous 17th brought an end to Simpson's run of brilliant luck, serving him up a double bogey. Nevertheless his lead remains very strong at this stage of the tournament.
Tiger Woods 1-under 71 for the day included two birdies and bogey and left him at 1-under total. He made the cut and is through to the third round.