Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass leaderboard: Martin Kaymer lapping the field

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Jordan Spieth, Sergio Garcia, and Rory McIlroy are all in position on Friday, but they're now facing a steep climb with Martin Kaymer posting another good number early on Friday at The Players.

Martin Kaymer is lapping the field at The Players Championship, backing up his course-record opening round of 63 with 69 on Friday to get in the clubhouse at 12-under. He's five shots clear of Kevin Chappell and Russell Henley, and with the winds picking up a bit at TPC Sawgrass, it will be a shock if he doesn't go to bed on the 36-hole lead.

Kaymer didn't move through the Pete Dye layout flawlessly again, making two bogeys. But he did stay under par on each nine and extended the margin, so it was a second straight successful day at the season's fifth major. His driving accuracy and GIR stats on Thursday were incredible, and those regressed significantly, but he managed to scramble through the tougher conditions for the 3-under round. Kaymer said he "kept himself in the tournament" (that's a bit of an understatement) with two up-and-downs and managing to stay together in the wind and with tougher pin placements.

The former world No. 1 added two red numbers in his final four holes to really make a round of it. At the island hole, the par-3 17th, Kaymer dropped his approach shot right on top of the back-middle pin location. He'd clean up a 5-footer to get to 12-under, and set the bar pretty high for that loaded group of chasers playing in the afternoon wave.

Kevin_chappel_photo_credit-_kevin_c._cox_medium

Kevin Chappell/Photo credit: Kevin C. Cox

Chappell had a chance to match Kaymer's one-day old record of 29 on either nine-holes at Sawgrass, but a bogey at the difficult 18th resulted in an outward 31. That's still a ridiculous number, and at the moment, he's jumped 66 spots up the leaderboard into the tie for second. He's added three birdies in his first four holes on his second nine, so Kaymer's margin could shrink soon with a couple more birdie opportunities coming up for Chappell.

The wind is definitely picking up so a number like Chappell is posting is probably not available for the afternoon tee times. Jordan Spieth, Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood and Justin Rose are just some of the big names in that group at 5-under. Phil Mickelson is just trying to get to the weekend at this point, needing to make a move from his position at 3-over into red figures.

The largest midpoint lead in this event is three shots, held by Lanny Wadkins and Greg Norman, who both went on to win. Here's a current snapshot of the leaderboard with the morning wave wrapping up:

Place Player Score Thru
1 Martin Kaymer -12 F
T2 Kevin Chappell -7 14 *
T2 Russell Henley -7 1:18 pm *
T4 Jim Furyk -6 16 *
T4 Lee Westwood -6 1 *
T4 Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano -6 1
T4 Brian Stuard -6 1 *
T8 Brian Davis -5 F *
T8 John Senden -5 F
T8 Bill Haas -5 F
T8 Gary Woodland -5 1:28 pm *
T8 Jordan Spieth -5 1:28 PM
T8 Scott Stallings -5 1:39 pm *
T8 Justin Rose -5 1:39 PM
T8 Sergio Garcia -5 1:49 PM
T16 Sang-Moon Bae -4 14 *
T16 George McNeill -4 14 *
T16 Freddie Jacobson -4 14 *
T16 Joost Luiten -4 13
T16 Scott Brown -4 1:49 pm *
T16 Ernie Els -4 1:49 pm *
T16 Dustin Johnson -4 1:49 PM
T23 Jamie Donaldson -3 F
T23 Hideki Matsuyama -3 F *
T23 Pat Perez -3 F *
T23 Justin Leonard -3 F *
T23 John Huh -3 F *
T23 Henrik Stenson -3 17 *
T23 Francesco Molinari -3 14
T23 David Hearn -3 13 *

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