PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — The Players Championship is shaping up to be more than just a duel between Sergio Garcia and Tiger Woods.
There are 18 players within five shots of the lead, including current major champions Adam Scott, Webb Simpson and Rory McIlroy. The list also includes Lee Westwood, Henrik Stenson, Steve Stricker, Hunter Mahan and Zach Johnson.
The star-studded leaderboard should provide plenty of theater on the tricky Stadium Course. The third round begins Saturday morning.
“It’s still stacked up with so many guys with a chance going into the weekend,” Woods said.
Garcia and Woods are the main attraction, playing together in the final group on the weekend for the first time in nearly seven years.
Garcia made seven straight putts — six of them for birdie — on his way to a 7-under 65 in the second round Friday to match his best score at TPC Sawgrass.
That gave him a one-shot lead over Woods, who took advantage of the par 5s to post his second straight 67. Woods broke his own 36-hole record at Sawgrass by six shots and couldn’t find much wrong with his game right now.
“I’m pretty pleased with where it’s at right now,” Woods said.
Woods won The Players in 2001, highlighted by that 60-foot putt on the island green described by NBC Sports analyst Gary Koch as “better than most.” But he has only seriously contended twice.
Garcia also is a past Players champion, winning a playoff in 2008.
“Fortunately for me, I’ve managed to play quite decent on this golf course,” Garcia said. “So any good thing that you can get in your head, it’s obviously positive and those kind of things always help.”