The second round of the 2013 Players Championship begins just after 7 a.m. ET on Friday, and the world's No. 1 player, Tiger Woods, will be out on the course in the morning wave. Television coverage is not scheduled to begin until 1 p.m., but Tiger's full round should be available online via PGATour.com's "featured groups" livestream.
Tiger is in prime position after 18 holes, closing strong with a 33 on the back side at TPC Sawgrass to finish Thursday at 5-under. He's four shots off the lead, but there's no way Roberto Castro, who leads at 9-under, can keep up his pace (he matched the tournament course record in the opening round). On Thursday, it was the morning wave of tee times that had the preferable conditions, with a relatively soft course from all the recent rain and slight winds from the North that made three of the four par-5s easier to birdie. Those winds picked up a bit in the afternoon and the scoring conditions were less favorable.
Tiger seemed affected by the swirling wind on the front nine, but put it together coming into the clubhouse. A bogey on the difficult 18th hole was the only blemish on the scorecard. It's likely that morning tee times get the preferable scoring conditions and more benign Stadium Course again on Friday, but it's doubtful that the course will be as gettable as it was on Thursday. The greens should be rolling faster, and the pin positions will be more difficult. But Tiger, who goes off at 8:39 a.m., will have plenty of opportunities early on to make a move towards Castro by starting on the back nine, where he birdied three straight holes after the turn on Thursday.
Unlike the Masters, which has a tradition of limiting and restricting broadcast length, The Players Championship, which is owned and operated by the PGA Tour, typically streams or covers every shot from the most popular players. In its quest to continually drive the narrative that it's the fifth major, and one of the most important events all year, the Tour puts together a pretty substantial coverage plan in conjunction with their media partners. On Friday, it will be Golf Channel that has the television broadcast, but a simulcast livestream of that coverage will also be available for those stuck in the office or unable to get in front of a TV. In addition to the simulcast and featured groups livestreams, the PGA Tour's website will also have a featured holes stream, covering every tee shot at the island 17th green, the symbol of this hyped made-for-TV tournament.
The marquee group for the afternoon TV coverage will feature Rory McIlroy, Adam Scott, and Steve Stricker. All three players are in red numbers after 18 holes, but Rory is highest on the board at 6-under, tied for second. Expect every shot of Rory's to be broadcast in the afternoon, with a mix of Terry Gannon, Nick Faldo, and Golf Channel sister network NBC curmudgeon Johnny Miller.
Here's the complete TV schedule for the rest of the week, and the streaming options for Friday:
Friday, May 10
1 to 7 p.m. ET -- Golf Channel
9 to 12 a.m. ET -- Golf Channel (replay)
Saturday, May 11
2 to 7 p.m. ET -- NBC
Sunday, May 12
2 to 7 p.m. ET -- NBC
Second round livestream available on Golf Channel.com from 1-7 p.m. ET
Featured Groups Stream
8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. ET
Morning Group -- Tiger Woods, Matt Kuchar, Brandt Snedeker
Afternoon Group -- Ernie Els, Dustin Johnson, Billy Horschel
Featured Holes Livestream
9 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET
No. 13 and the island green No. 17, as well as some "finishing holes"
Coverage on Sirius-XM PGA Tour from Noon to 7 p.m. ET