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Josh Beckett and other joyless professional athletes could take a cue from Players champ Matt Kuchar, who loves his job and it shows.
Matt Kuchar jumped 11 spots in this week's Official World Golf Rankings, coming in at No. 5 overall after winning the 2012 Players Championship. Kuchar won the tournament with help from a Martin Laird bogey on the 72nd hole. The 33-year-old also jumped into the Top 10 of the FedEx Cup Standings.
The first four spots atop the rankings remain unchanged. Rory McIlroy is still in first place after bumping Luke Donald from the top spot with a win at the 2012 Wells Fargo Championship two weekends ago. Hunter Mahan moves down to sixth place to accommodate Kuchar, and Webb Simpson fell to No. 11 overall.
1) Rory McIlroy
2) Luke Donald
3) Lee Westwood
4) Bubba Watson
5) Matt Kuchar
6) Hunter Mahan
7) Tiger Woods
8) Steve Stricker
9) Martin Kaymer
10) Phil Mickelson
Head over to the official site of the World Golf Ranking to see a full list.
Kevin Na crawls around a golf course at a pace that would put the Slowskis to shame. But that's no excuse for the taunts and boos that rained down on him during Sunday's Players Championship finale.
Tiger Woods no supports penalties for slow play, though he whistled a different tune a few years ago.
Following his victory at The Players Championship on Sunday, Matt Kuchar has jumped into the top 10 of the FedEx Cup standings.
Earning 600 points with the win, Kuchar moved up 22 slots to sixth place, sitting just 13 points behind Carl Pettersson.
The top-five spots in the standings were unchanged this week.
Despite missing the cut at The Players Championship, Hunter Mahan continues to hold a slim lead over Bubba Watson for first place. The Masters winner was idle this weekend.
Rickie Fowler, who won last week's Wells Fargo Championship and finished tied for second this weekend, has now moved into eighth place overall after entering the month of May in 70th place.
Tiger Woods moved down two spots to number 15 after his tied for 40th place finish at The Players.
Kevin Na has been the target of everyone's jokes on Sunday. He fell apart after a strong three days, finishing his final round with a 76. It was bad, and probably cost him a lot of money. Oh, and he was heckled by an angry crowd along the way.
This, however, was awesome. Na, who's been suffering from the yips recently, hit his tee shot way right on 18. He got relief and was able to take a drop because his stance was on the cart path. So he dropped his ball on the cart path, on purpose. Why, you ask? A flat lie, of course.
Watching him stand over this, we thought a few things would happen. First, since it was a hybrid, one had to assume he would spark it. Second, the way he was hitting the ball on Sunday, one could assume he might break his club. Third, there was no way he as getting anywhere near the green.
244 yards later, Na pulled off one heck of a shot. After an up-and-down week, this was a cool way to end it.
Your 2012 The Players Championship winner is Matt Kuchar, who finished the tournament 13 under par to earn a two-stroke victory.
It's Kuchar's first PGA Tour win since the 2010 Barclays.
After bogeying his first hole of the day, Kuchar played nearly mistake-free golf, with 12 pars and four birdies. He held off Martin Laird, Zach Johnson and Rickie Fowler, who all stayed in contention with exceptional back nine performances.
Kuchar held a two-stroke lead entering the 16th hole, the first in a trio of "make or break" holes at the TPC Sawgrass. He birdied 16 to extend his lead to three strokes, but three-putted the 17th island hole to maintain some semblance of pressure and drama entering the final hole.
Fowler, who won his first PGA Tour victory last week in the Wells Fargo Championship, shot a final-round 70 today, including an 3-under 33 on the back nine, but was crippled by a double bogey on the par four fifth hole.
Laird, who was the tournament's leader after the first round of play, hovered around par on Friday and Saturday but propelled into the first page of the leaderboard with a final-round 67.
Kevin Na, who was the center of attention all tournament for his slow but exceptional play, entered the day as the leader (and the villain), but struggled mightily off the tee today, shooting a 76. He finished tied for seventh place at -8.
The Tour heads to Irving, Texas next week for the Byron Nelson Championship.
Matt Kuchar has played nearly mistake-free golf this afternoon, as he leads The Players Championship by two strokes with three holes to play.
Martin Laird, who shot a 67 this afternoon, has been sitting in the clubhouse for roughly 30 minutes now at -11, waiting for Kuchar to make a mistake and come back to the Scottish golfer.
Since bogeying the first hole of today's round, Kuchar has penciled in three birdies and 11 pars to stay atop the leaderboard.
But looming to close out Kuchar's round is the infamous 17th island hole -- which he bogeyed yesterday after hitting it short of the green and into the water -- and an 18th hole that runs parallel with water all the way up to the green.
Zach Johnson is also two shots off the lead and can make up more ground with one hole to play. He parred 17 and must birdie his final hole on the round to close the gap with Kuchar, or risk waiting for the leader to fold on the final two holes and finish at -11 or worse.
Entering today’s final round of The Players Championship as the leader, American Kevin Na is having a rough go of it today, and the tournament’s gallery is letting him have it.
While golf is a sport that strongly discourages chanting, jabbing and just about everything you see at other sporting events, a few “unruly” members of the gallery have been chanting “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye” -- the 1969 hit from the band Steam -- as Na folds on the back nine of the TPC Sawgrass.
The chants were picked up clearly after Na drenched his ball on the par-3 13th hole, which resulted in his sixth bogey of the day.
Na currently is +4 on the day and five shots off the lead.
Na has drawn the ire of fans, golfers, and tournament officials alike this weekend with his brutally slow play. He's yet to be penalized, but there's plenty of animosity being generated towards him.
Na says he's fully aware that it frustrates people, but has done little to remedy the mental block that has him waggling his club and elongating his pre-shot routine.
Because golf fans seem to root for stories rather than personalities or talent, it’s rare to see a true villan develop during a tournament.
But Kevin Na is a villain in Ponte Vedra, Florida this weekend, and the gallery is not afraid to show it.
Kevin Na entered Sunday at The Players Championship at Sawgrass with a nice lead and extended it early, but he's stumbled a bit close to the turn and now finds himself three strokes behind the leader, Matt Kuchar. Kuchar now sits at -12 through 10 holes.
The real story of the afternoon has been the charge of Scot Martin Laird, however. He made five birdies in six holes around the turn to briefly tie Kuchar for the lead before bogeying 14. Right with him is Zach Johnson at -10 through 13 holes, and Luke Donald, who tore up the course for a six-under round and is sitting in the clubhouse at -9. Na and Rickie Fowler, who birdied two of his first four holes before doubling on hole 5 (and hasn't birdied since), join Donald and nine under.
The final pairing is on the course at TPC Sawgrass, and leader Kevin Na has extended the margin to two shots through the first three holes. Na is 13-under after getting a birdie on the par-5 second, while Matt Kuchar is off to a disappointing start. Kuchar bogeyed the first and then, unlike Na, he failed to capitalize on a good birdie opportunity at the second, opening his round with two 5s. He saved par at No. 3 with a lengthy putt that used all of the cup before dropping in for the three.
Rickie Fowler, who's looking to go back-to-back after getting his first career win last week in Charlotte, birdied two of the first four holes to take sole possession of second place at 11-under. He drained a lengthy putt with severe break on No. 4, rattling the back of the cup to provoke a loud roar. One-time leader Zach Johnson has had a roller-coaster start, going eagle-bogey-birdie on holes two through four. He's at 9-under and four shots back of Na.
Tiger Woods, meanwhile, wrapped up an ugly final round with a 73. He went out with an astonishing 40 on the front side, putting one in the drink on No. 4 for a double bogey. He cleaned it up a bit on the back side with three birdies, but finished the weekend a pedestrian 1-under.
Phil Mickelson started hot with two birdies in his first four holes, but gave it back on Nos. 7 and 9 to make the turn nine shots back of Na.
For a complete leaderboard, visit Golf.com.
For Kevin Na, Matt Kuchar and Rickie Fowler, a victory Sunday at the Players Championship would be career-defining ... but all for different reasons.
The final round of the The Players Championship is underway and Tiger Woods continues to have a rough weekend. After he stalled out with a ho-hum 72 on moving day, Woods is scuffling through the front nine on Sunday. Woods is four over through the first eight holes, dumping one in the water on No. 4 resulting in a double bogey. It was yet another stunning example of just how far his iron game has fallen, simply dunking it in the drink from the middle of the fairway.
Woods started his day with a bogey five at the first, but quickly got it back with a birdie on the second. His round went off the rails with the double, however, and he quickly followed that up with another bogey at No. 6. He then yanked his tee shot on the par-three eighth hole and could not get up-and-down to save par. At two over for the championship, he is now 14 shots back of leader Kevin Na. The Washington Post's Barry Svrluga sums up his day so far, via @barrysvrluga:
This is fast becoming a slog for @TigerWoods. After double at 4, goes bunker to bunker at 6. Approaching long putt, a quite audible sigh.— Barry Svrluga (@barrysvrluga) May 13, 2012
For a complete leaderboard, visit Golf.com.
Tiger Woods shot a four-under 68 in the second round of The Players Championship at Sawgrass, prompting anticipation about his ability to make a run for the trophy over the weekend. But after shooting an even-par 72 on Saturday, he finds himself 10 strokes behind 54-hole leader Kevin Na.
As Woods seemingly always says after rounds, he was happy with how he played, even though it didn't manifest in a low score. "I played well today and didn't get anything out of that round," he said. "It was probably the most solid I've hit the golf ball all year actually. Even though I hit a couple off‑line, but they were just hit dead‑flush. I just got nothing out of the round."
A significant development in Woods' prolonged comeback to rejoin the golf world's elite has been his quest to get fully healthy. Following Saturday's round, he opened a window into just how long that's taken him:
Q. How long ago did you put the metal spike back in the cleats?
TIGER WOODS: I started at Quail Hollow last week.
Q. What was the change?
TIGER WOODS: My knee is finally healthy enough to take the pounding.
Matt Kuchar says he knows the pace of play can get slow on tour. Wait until he tees it up with Kevin Na in Sunday's finale at TPC Sawgrass.
Kevin Na has the lead going into Sunday's final round at TPC Sawgrass, so he'll be paired in the last round with Matt Kuchar, who is only a stroke back. Here's the rest of the tee times and pairings for Round 4 at the Players Championship:
8:45 a.m.: Stewart Cink, George McNeill
8:55 a.m.: Rod Pampling, Heath Slocum
9:05 a.m.: David Hearn, Cameron Tringale
9:15 a.m.: Robert Karlsson, Jason Dufner
9:25 a.m.: Robert Allenby, Graham DeLaet
9:35 a.m.: Josh Teater, Justin Rose
9:45 a.m.: J.J. Henry, Bob Estes
9:55 a.m.: Nick Watney, Brian Harman
10:05 a.m.: Harris English, Justin Leonard
10:15 a.m.: Keegan Bradley, Ryan Moore
10:25 a.m.: David Toms, Marc Leishman
10:35 a.m.: Alvaro Quiros, Trevor Immelman
10:45 a.m.: Lee Westwood, Chris Kirk
10:55 a.m.: Sung Kang, Ricky Barnes
11:05 a.m.: Peter Hanson, Kris Blanks
11:15 a.m.: Tom Gillis, Michael Thompson
11:25 a.m.: Tiger Woods, Jim Furyk
11:35 a.m.: Chris Couch, Spencer Levin
11:45 a.m.: Pat Perez, Brian Gay
11:55 a.m.: Bill Haas, Bryce Molder am
12:05 p.m.: John Huh, Luke Donald
12:15 p.m.: Geoff Ogilvy, Henrik Stenson
12:25 p.m.: Harrison Frazar, John Rollins
12:35 p.m.: Kevin Stadler, Adam Scott
12:45 p.m.: Brendon de Jonge, Kevin Streelman
12:55 p.m.: Tim Clark, Jimmy Walker
1:06 p.m.: Jeff Maggert, Ian Poulter
1:17 p.m.: Phil Mickelson, Martin Kaymer
1:28 p.m.: David Mathis, Carl Pettersson
1:39 p.m.: Charlie Wi, Sergio Garcia
1:50 p.m.: Bo Van Pelt, Blake Adams
2:01 p.m.: Martin Laird, Johnson Wagner
2:12 p.m.: Brian Davis, Jonathan Byrd
2:23 p.m.: Zach Johnson, Jhonattan Vegas
2:34 p.m.: Rickie Fowler, Ben Curtis
2:45 p.m.: Kevin Na, Matt Kuchar
A round with no bogeys has Kevin Na one up on Matt Kuchar at 12-under going into the final round at Sawgrass.
Kuchar had a one-stroke lead on Na coming to the signature 17th hole, but he struck his tee shot a bit fat and ended up splashing about five yards short of the island. He recovered with a shot that left him about eight feet from the hole for bogey, but that was enough to see him tied with Na. Na capitalized by parring the 17th and birdieing on the concluding 18th hole.
Rickie Fowler is in third three back of the lead at 9-under while Ben Curtis and Zach Johnson are tied for fourth at 7-under.
Na and Kuchar are the only two players to have posted three rounds in the 60s. We'll see if they can keep up the pace in tomorrow's final round.
As he approaches Sawgrass' difficult finish in Round 3, Matt Kuchar has a one-stroke lead on Kevin Na.
Kuchar isn't playing terribly consistent golf -- he doesn't have a par on the back nine, alternating between birdies and bogeys since -- but he's consistently sliced strokes off his lead, sitting at 3-under on the day with a -11. Kuchar barely missed a long putt on 14 for bogey, but bounced back with a three on 15. Na missed an opportunity to score by leaving a putt literally an inch short on 14. He's only two under on the day, but hasn't bogeyed yet.
Still on the course near the lead are Brian Davis, Charlie Wi, and Zach Johnson, who are five back in a four-way tie for fifth place with Ben Curtis.
Entering the back nine, a strong start to the day has Matt Kuchar one clear of the field at 10-under as the third round at Sawgrass plays itself out.
Rickie Fowler followed up on his first PGA Tour win last week with a very strong round, entering the clubhouse at nine-under. Fowler, in his signature Puma hat and matching bright turquoise pants, was at seven-under before missing a four-foot putt on 18 for his first bogey of the day. He's currently tied for second with Kevin Na, who is on 10.
Kuchar's best work came around the turn, sinking back-to-back-to-back birdies on 8, 9, and 10 to put him two clear, but gave some of it back with a bogey on the 11th.
Behind Fowler and Na is Zach Johnson at two back at eight-under overall, followed by Ben Curtis and Brian Davis in a tie for fifth at seven-under.
Rickie Fowler is playing the best golf of his short career, which he was able to prove once again on Saturday's third round at The Players Championship.
Tiger Woods has put his third round in the books at the 2012 Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Florida. As has been usual lately, things did not come easily for Woods. On Saturday, he shot even par for the day and is now tied for 36th place at 2-under in the tournament.
Woods stayed even for most of the day before climbing all the way up to 2-over on the day with bogeys on holes 7 and 10. He was able to birdie on the 11th and 13th holes to get back to par in the round, but was unable to sink a handful of other birdie attempts.
The current leaders are Rickie Fowler and Kevin Na, who are both at 9-under. Matt Kuchar is close behind, at 8-under.
The action is heating up on Saturday at TPC Sawgrass in Florida as the third round of the 2012 Players Championship continues.
Rickie Fowler has had a lights-out third round, currently at 5-under through 10 holes on Saturday and is now tied for the lead at 8-under, joining Zach Johnson, Matt Kuchar and Kevin Na. Also elbowing his way into the pack atop the leaderboard is Jonathan Byrd, who is 2-under through three holes to create a five-way tie for first.
Tiger Woods keeps slipping further behind. A bogey on 10 put him at 2-over for the day and at even par in the tournament, but he was able to pick up a birdie on the 11th hole to put him back at 1-under and had his best hold of the day on 13, making birdie on the par-3. Woods moves back to 2-under and is tied for 35th place.
Phil Mickelson, who was languising near par with Woods for much of the second round and through his first few holes, has come storming back and is now 4-under through 12 holes.
At TPC Sawgrass in Florida, the three leaders have yet to tee off for the third round on Saturday. Zach Johnson, Kevin Na and Matt Kuchar are all at 8-under and Harris English is close behind at 7-under.
Rickie Fowler is making an early run at the the top spot. Through six holes, he has leaped 12 spots and is now tied for fifth place at 6-under after a trio of birdies.
Further down on the leaderboard, Tiger Woods continues to struggle. After needing to rebound on Friday to make the cut, Woods has fallen to just 1-under through his first nine holes of play on Saturday. Woods bogeyed on the par-4 seventh hole and is 1-over for the third round. Phil Mickelson is also 1-over for the day after a pair of bogeys and a birdie through eight holes.
While the leaders have yet to tee off on Saturday, there are plenty of notables playing their third round at the 2012 Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Florida.
Some players are also making early strides on Saturday. Jhonattan Vegas has a birdie and an eagle in his first two holes and is now tied for 10th at 5-under. Justin Leonard and Carl Pettersson are 3-under through nine holes and both sit at 4-under. Kris Blanks and Martin Kaymer have also moved to 4-under.
Tiger Woods is at par through four holes and Phil Mickelson is at par through three. Both players remain at 2-under and tied for 38th.
The fast greens continue to baffle many of the players, as plenty of two-putts keep popping up on relatively close approaches.
The secret to Tiger Woods' stellar second round at Sawgrass may have nothing to do with swing changes, reps, or traj. It could be as simple as a new pair of slippers.
It's moving day at The Players Championship, and that means players will pair up and look to stay in contention for Sunday's final round.
|8:35 AM||Henry, J.J.||Hearn, David|
|8:45 AM||Garcia, Sergio||Kirk, Chris|
|8:55 AM||Molder, Bryce||Frazar, Harrison|
|9:05 AM||Tringale, Cameron||Perez, Pat|
|9:15 AM||Quiros, Alvaro||DeLaet, Graham|
|9:25 AM||Karlsson, Robert||Hanson, Peter|
|9:35 AM||Rose, Justin||Dufner, Jason|
|9:45 AM||Immelman, Trevor||Allenby, Robert|
|9:55 AM||Mathis, David||Rollins, John|
|10:05 AM||Toms, David||Pampling, Rod|
|10:15 AM||Leonard, Justin||Pettersson, Carl|
|10:25 AM||Gay, Brian||McNeill, George|
|10:35 AM||Ogilvy, Geoff||Slocum, Heath|
|10:45 AM||Couch, Chris||Blanks, Kris|
|10:55 AM||Cink, Stewart||Leishman, Marc|
|11:05 AM||Kang, Sung||Barnes, Ricky|
|11:15 AM||Stenson, Henrik||Levin, Spencer|
|11:25 AM||Bradley, Keegan||Woods, Tiger|
|11:35 AM||Mickelson, Phil||Estes, Bob|
|11:45 AM||Kaymer, Martin||Wagner, Johnson|
|11:55 AM||Furyk, Jim||Vegas, Jhonattan|
|12:05 PM||Maggert, Jeff||Teater, Josh|
|12:15 PM||Poulter, Ian||Fowler, Rickie|
|12:25 PM||Clark, Tim||Watney, Nick|
|12:35 PM||Harman, Brian||Gillis, Tom|
|12:45 PM||Huh, John||Moore, Ryan|
|12:56 PM||Donald, Luke||Westwood, Lee|
|1:07 PM||Walker, Jimmy||Van Pelt, Bo|
|1:18 PM||de Jonge, Brendon||Streelman, Kevin|
|1:29 PM||Adams, Blake||Thompson, Michael|
|1:40 PM||Curtis, Ben||Haas, Bill|
|1:51 PM||Davis, Brian||Stadler, Kevin|
|2:02 PM||Byrd, Jonathan||Scott, Adam|
|2:13 PM||Wi, Charlie||Laird, Martin|
|2:24 PM||Kuchar, Matt||English, Harris|
|2:35 PM||Johnson, Zach||Na, Kevin|
As the sun sets on the first two days of The Players Championship, a trio sits tied atop the leaderboard.
Zach Johnson, Matt Kuchar and Kevin Na will enter moving day at eight-under par, followed by a slew of American golfers just a few shots off the pace.
Round one leaders Martin Laird and Ian Poulter remain in contention but fell off the lead during today's outing after struggling on the back nine of the TPC - Sawgrass.
Laird, who went out in 34, finished with a one-over 73 after shooting four-over on the course's final three holes.
Poulter was even through the first nine holes, but had two double bogeys and just one birdie on the back. He finished with a four-over 76.
Johnson, who shot a two-under 70 on Thursday, followed up with the best round of the day, with a six-under 66, including five bogeys on the back nine.
Notables missing the even par cut today: Padraig Harrington, Graeme McDowell, Rory McIlroy and Vijay Singh.
It was McIlroy's third missed cut at The Players Championship in as many appearances.
Phil Mickelson, playing in his first tournament since being inducted into the Golf Hall of Fame, shot a second consecutive 71 today. He sits tied for 31st place.
Kevin Na may be the slowest golfer on the PGA Tour -- and he's very sorry about that.
Tiger Woods may not be the best golfer in the world any longer but, for good or for ill, he remains the most entertaining to watch. After finishing at 2-over in the first round of the 2012 Players Championship, Woods rebounded on Friday in the second round at TPC Sawgrass in Florida on Friday.
Woods started off strong but began to wilt in the back nine. For a few holes, it looked as though he would miss the cutoff line for the tournament, which was projected at even par. Woods fell to 1-under with a few holes remaining and appeared to be in danger of missing his second straight cut. A lovely draw shot out of the rough on hole 15 allowed him to go up and down for birdie on the par-5 and he returned to 2-under.
Woods managed to hold on for par over the last three holes and finished at 2-under, making the cut.
Toward the end of the second round of play on Friday at the 2012 Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Florida, Tiger Woods is getting perilously close to the cut line.
Although his rough first day made it seem as though he was headed toward missing the cut for the second time in as many tournaments, he had appeared to rebound well through his first 13 holes on Friday. He was 4-under for the day and 2-under overall. On hole 14, however, Woods bogeyed and fell to 1-under. The projected cut line is at even par.
On the 15th hole, Woods landed in the rough again and it appeared as though his trend of late-round collapses that has plagued him in 2012 would continue. Woods was able to make a solid shot to hit the fairway, however. Woods went up and down to make birdie and move back to 2-under. Still, Woods cannot afford to make any more mistakes in the second round.
Tiger Woods has recovered from a rough opening day and is climbing the leaderboard in the second round of the 2012 Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Florida on Friday.
After finishing 2-over on Thursday, Woods has rebounded admirably and has jumped a whopping 70 spots on the leaderboard through his first 13 holes in Round 2. Woods is 4-under for the day with five birdies and just one bogey, coming on the par-4 fifth hole.
Woods is now 2-under overall and tied for 30th place with a slew of other golfers, including Phil Mickelson and Henrik Stenson.
Matt Kuchar through 14 holes is tied with Zach Johnson atop the leaderboard at 8-under. Harris English and Kevin Na are close behind at 7-under.
The second round of the 2012 Players Championship is in full swing and there has been plenty of movement on the leaderboard.
Zach Johnson took the lead, thanks to a second round 6-under 66. Johnson is 8-under par for the tournament, two strokes ahead of a group of six players currently tied for second place. Martin Laird, who was tied for the lead after the first round, is one of the players currently tied for second at 6-under par. Phil Mickelson shot a 1-under 71 for the second straight day, leaving him in a tie for 29th place at 2-under par for the tournament.
John Huh made a strong push in round two, moving up 95 spots into a tie for 19th with a 6-under par second round. Rory McIlroy, the current No. 1 ranked player in the world, did not fare as well as Huh. McIlroy shot a 4-over 76 in the second round, dropping him 60 spots into a tie for 115th at 4-over par for the tournament.
Click here to find the full Players Championship leaderboard.
Tiger Woods has work to do to make the cut at The Players Championship. But he's not alone.
The second round of the 2012 Players Championship is underway on Friday at TPC Sawgrass in Florida. Martin Laird and Ian Poulter entered the day atop the leaderboard at 7-under, but Laird is making some strides early to build on that lead.
While Poulter has not yet teed off for Round 2, Laird has added three strokes to his lead to remain atop the leaderboard at 10-under through 15 holes, although two bogeys have limited the distance he's been able to put between himself and the field.
Zach Johnson has moved into second place at 8-under, as he has gone 6-under through 14 holes. Charlie Wi has also made massive strides on Friday, at 6-under on the day through 17 holes to move into a tie at 7-under. He joins Poulter in third place, as well as Adam Scott and Jonathan Byrd, both of whom are at 3-under in their second round.
Click here to find the full Players Championship leaderboard.
Ian Poulter has company atop The Players Championship leaderboard.
After an eventful first round, the second round of the Players Championship gets underway Friday with Ian Poulter and Martin Laird tied for the lead at 7-under.
The first round concluded with 55 players posting under-par scores. Poulter and Laird lead, but Blake Adams is just one stroke behind at 6-under par with Kevin Na and Ben Crane tied for fourth place at 5-under. On the other side of the leaderboard, Tiger Woods is tied for 100th place at 2-over.
Round two gets underway at 7:15 a.m. ET. Poulter will play in a pairing alongside Jason Day and Louis Oosthuizen while Laird will tee off at 8:08 a.m. ET, playing with Stewart Cink and Charles Howell III. Woods, who missed the cut last week, will play his second round in a pairing with Rickie Fowler and Hunter Mahan.
TV coverage of the second round can be seen on the Golf Channel starting at 1:00 p.m. ET.
Tee times for round two of the Players Championship (all times ET)
12:25 p.m. John Mallinger Cameron Tringale Blake Adams
12:36 p.m. Andres Romero Jeff Overton Tom Gillis
12:46 p.m. Pat Perez Briny Baird Michael Thompson
12:57 p.m. Geoff Ogilvy Vijay Singh Scott Verplank
1:07 p.m. Arjun Atwal Angel Cabrera Padraig Harrington
1:18 p.m. Harrison Frazar Aaron Baddeley Justin Leonard
1:28 p.m. Brandt Snedeker Ben Crane Nick Watney
1:39 p.m. Louis Oosthuizen Jason Day Ian Poulter
1:49 p.m. Carl Pettersson Robert Garrigus
2:00 p.m. Chris Kirk Michael Bradley Ryan Palmer
2:10 p.m. Spencer Levin David Hearn
2:21 p.m. Jeff Maggert John Merrick David Mathis
12:25 p.m. Chris Couch Greg Chalmers Graham DeLaet
12:36 p.m. D.J. Trahan Chris DiMarco James Driscoll
12:46 p.m. Kevin Streelman Brandt Jobe Kris Blanks
12:57 p.m. Bryce Molder Gary Woodland Charley Hoffman
1:07 p.m. Heath Slocum Matt Bettencourt Brian Gay
1:18 p.m. George McNeill Kevin Na Scott Piercy
1:28 p.m. K.J. Choi Tim Clark Sergio Garcia
1:39 p.m. Webb Simpson Keegan Bradley Matt Kuchar
1:49 p.m. Rickie Fowler Hunter Mahan Tiger Woods
2:00 p.m. Sean O'Hair David Toms Henrik Stenson
2:10 p.m. Troy Matteson J.B. Holmes J.J. Henry
2:21 p.m. Chad Campbell Rod Pampling Billy Mayfair
7:15 a.m. Chez Reavie Kevin Stadler Josh Teater
7:26 a.m. Tim Herron Jimmy Walker Sung Kang
7:36 a.m. Bo Van Pelt Kevin Chappell Ricky Barnes
7:47 a.m. Rory Sabbatini Y.E. Yang Jerry Kelly
7:57 a.m. Scott Stallings Jim Furyk Davis Love III
8:08 a.m. Jhonattan Vegas Jonathan Byrd Camilo Villegas
8:18 a.m. Justin Rose Martin Kaymer Adam Scott
8:29 a.m. Luke Donald Bill Haas Lee Westwood
8:39 a.m. Rory McIlroy Phil Mickelson Steve Stricker
8:50 a.m. Ryan Moore Brian Harman Bud Cauley
9:00 a.m. John Senden Sang-Moon Bae Tommy Gainey
9:11 a.m. Marc Leishman J.J. Killeen Alvaro Quiros
7:15 a.m. Tom Pernice Jr. Brendon de Jonge Ken Duke
7:26 a.m. Nick O'Hern Chris Stroud Simon Dyson
7:36 a.m. John Rollins Francesco Molinari Charlie Wi
7:47 a.m. Fredrik Jacobson Lucas Glover Retief Goosen
7:57 a.m. Brendan Steele Trevor Immelman Robert Allenby
8:08 a.m. Martin Laird Stewart Cink Charles Howell III
8:18 a.m. Graeme McDowell Zach Johnson Ernie Els
8:29 a.m. Jason Dufner Ben Curtis Kyle Stanley
8:39 a.m. John Huh Mark Wilson Johnson Wagner
8:50 a.m. Joe Ogilvie Bob Estes Brian Davis
9:00 a.m. Ryuji Imada Robert Karlsson Peter Hanson
9:11 a.m. Matt Every Colt Knost Harris English
The first round of the Players Championship is in the books, and Ian Poulter and Martin Laird share the lead with 7-under 65's.
Poulter and Laird both started strong and finished stronger, each posting birdies on both 16 and 17, an especially tough feat at Sawgrass. They're followed by Blake Adams at six-under, Kevin Na and Ben Crane at five-under, and a whole slew of golfers at four-under.
As for Tiger Woods, it wasn't pretty, as he finished at two-over on the day, a full nine strokes off the lead in a tie for 100th. The two golfers neck and neck for the World No. 1 spot didn't fare particularly well either, as they're knotted in a tie with a bunch of other golfers for 56th by going into the clubhouse at even par.
The 2012 Players Championship is underway at TPC Sawgrass in Florida. The first round on Thursday has already seen many of the competitors finish their full 18 holes and there are plenty of players trying to make an early run at the top of the leaderboard.
The early leader is Ian Poulter, who is at 7-under after finishing his opening round of play. He had one bogey, coming on the par-4 seventh hole, but put up eight birdies to finish at 65.
Right behind Poulter is Blake Adams, at 6-under, followed by Kevin Na and Ben Crane, who are both tied for third place at 5-under. Five players are bunched up at 4-under, including Bo Van Pelt, who is only through nine holes and Adam Scott, who is only through seven.
Tiger Woods is on pace for back-to-back missed cuts for the first time in his professional career after a poor first round at the 2012 Players Championship on Thursday.
Most of golf's biggest names haven't teed off yet and a very select few have finished their rounds on the first day of The Players Championship, but Tiger Woods is already eight shots off the lead. He's had an up and down day with three birdies and five bogeys, putting him at two-over par through 12 holes.
Kevin Na, who is six-under par through 15 holes, is tied for the lead. He's joined on top of the leaderboard by Blake Adams, who finished his round with a 66. Ian Poulter is one shot off the lead at five-under through 13 holes. Last week's winner, Rickie Fowler is currently one-under through 12 holes. Phil Mickelson, Luke Donald, Lee Westwood and Rory McIlroy have yet to start their rounds and will tee off on Thursday afternoon.
You can find a full Players' Championship leaderboard at Golf.com.
Brian Harman backs his way into The Players Championship.
Tiger Woods has struggled of late at TPC Sawgrass and he gets off to a sluggish start at The Players Championship.
The first round of the 2012 The Players Championship begins on Thursday with more than a few notable first round pairings. The first groups of the day will tee off at the TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla at 7:15 a.m. ET.
Tiger Woods, who missed the cut last week at the Wells Fargo Championship, will be paired with Hunter Mahan and Rickie Folwer. Fowler won last week's Wells Fargo Championship, his first PGA Tour victory. Rory McIlroy, the current No. 1 ranked player in the world, will play in a pairing with Phil Mickelson and Steve Stricker.
Defending tournament champion K.J. Choi will be grouped with fellow TPC winners, Sergio Garcia and Tim Clark. Other notable pairings include Luke Donald playing with Bill Haas and Lee Westwood and the threesome of Geoff Ogilvy, Vijay Singh and Scott Verplank.
Television coverage of the first round begins at 1 p.m. ET on the Golf Channel with radio coverage beginning at noon on Sirius XM.
Complete THE PLAYERS Championship tee times (all times are ET)
7:15 a.m. John Mallinger, Cameron Tringale and Blake Adams
7:26 a.m. Andres Romero, Jeff Overton and Tom Gillis
7:36 a.m. Pat Perez, Briny Baird and Michael Thompson
7:47 a.m. Geoff Ogilvy, Vijay Singh and Scott Verplank
7:57 a.m. Arjun Atwal, Angel Cabrera and Padraig Harrington
8:08 a.m. Harrison Frazar, Aaron Baddeley and Justin Leonard
8:18 a.m. Brandt Snedeker, Ben Crane and Nick Watney
8:29 a.m. Louis Oosthuizen, Jason Day and Ian Poulter
8:39 a.m. Carl Pettersson, D.A. Points and Robert Garrigus
8:50 a.m. Chris Kirk, Michael Bradley and Ryan Palmer
9:00 a.m. Spencer Levin, David Hearn and Hunter Haas
9:11 a.m. Jeff Maggert, John Merrick and David Mathis
7:15 a.m. Chris Couch, Greg Chalmers and Graham DeLaet
7:26 a.m. D.J. Trahan, Chris DiMarco and James Driscoll
7:36 a.m. Kevin Streelman, Brandt Jobe and Kris Blanks
7:47 a.m. Bryce Molder, Gary Woodland and Charley Hoffman
7:57 a.m. Heath Slocum, Matt Bettencourt and Brian Gay
8:08 a.m. George McNeill, Kevin Na and Scott Piercy
8:18 a.m. K.J. Choi, Tim Clark and Sergio Garcia
8:29 a.m. Webb Simpson, Keegan Bradley and Matt Kuchar
8:39 a.m. Rickie Fowler, Hunter Mahan and Tiger Woods
8:50 a.m. Sean O'Hair, David Toms and Henrik Stenson
9:00 a.m. Troy Matteson, J.B. Holmes and J.J. Henry
9:11 a.m. Chad Campbell, Rod Pampling and Billy Mayfair
12:25 p.m. Chez Reavie, Kevin Stadler and Josh Teater
12:36 p.m. Tim Herron, Jimmy Walker and Sung Kang
12:46 p.m. Bo Van Pelt, Kevin Chappell and Ricky Barnes
12:57 p.m. Rory Sabbatini, Y.E. Yang and Jerry Kelly
1:07 p.m. Scott Stallings, Jim Furyk and Davis Love III
1:18 p.m. Jhonattan Vegas, Jonathan Byrd and Camilo Villegas
1:28 p.m. Justin Rose, Martin Kaymer and Adam Scott
1:39 p.m. Luke Donald, Bill Haas and Lee Westwood
1:49 p.m. Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson and Steve Stricker
2:00 p.m. Ryan Moore, Paul Casey and Bud Cauley
2:10 p.m. John Senden, Sang-Moon Bae and Tommy Gainey
2:21 p.m. Marc Leishman, J.J. Killeen and Alvaro Quiros
12:25 p.m. Tom Pernice Jr., Brendon de Jonge and Ken Duke
12:36 p.m. Nick O'Hern, Chris Stroud and Simon Dyson
12:46 p.m. John Rollins, Francesco Molinari and Charlie Wi
12:57 p.m. Fredrik Jacobson, Lucas Glover and Retief Goosen
1:07 p.m. Brendan Steele, Trevor Immelman and Robert Allenby
1:18 p.m. Martin Laird, Stewart Cink and Charles Howell III
1:28 p.m. Graeme McDowell, Zach Johnson and Ernie Els
1:39 p.m. Jason Dufner, Ben Curtis and Kyle Stanley
1:49 p.m. John Huh, Mark Wilson and Johnson Wagner
2:00 p.m. Joe Ogilvie, Bob Estes and Brian Davis
2:10 p.m. Ryuji Imada, Robert Karlsson and Peter Hanson
2:21 p.m. Matt Every, Colt Knost and Harris English
The 2012 Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass begins on Thursday. Can K.J. Choi successfully defend his 2011 title?
Overhauling his swing is nothing new for Tiger Woods -- just ask Butch Harmon and Hank Haney.
Tiger Woods should listen to his Nike sponsor and "Just do it," suggests old friend Mark O'Meara.
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