Furyk Leads Love Lost at Players

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PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Jim Furyk, one of Thursday's first-round co-leaders, only managed a 1-under 71 on Friday, but is in sole possession of the lead after the second round of The Players Championship. He stands at 8-under-par 136 and is one ahead at the Stadium Course at the TPC at Sawgrass.
 
Jim Furyk
While Jim Furyk has the title in his sights, Davis Love III was sent packing.
Furyk's co-leader from round one had a much worse day. Davis Love III, a two-time former champion, shot an astonishing, 11-over-par 83 on Friday to finish at 4-over-par 148. He became the first player in tournament history to miss the cut after owning at least a piece of the first-round lead.
 
Love was 7 over par on his round and needed at least a par on his last hole, the par-5 ninth, to play on the weekend. His drive landed against a tree and he was forced to take an unplayable lie. Love's third landed in a bunker and his fourth found the rough near the green. The 1997 PGA Champion's fifth shot came up short of the green in a bunker.
 
He blasted out to 10 feet and three-putted for a quadruple-bogey 9.
 
'I felt bad for Davis. He wasn't playing well,' said Furyk, who played with Love in the first two rounds. 'There's no effect on playing with him, but I think that's because he's such a professional and handles himself so well.'
 
Adam Scott, the 2004 winner, and Stephen Ames are knotted in second place. Scott posted a 5-under 67 and Ames fired a 6-under 66 to tie at minus-7.
 
World No. 2 Vijay Singh (70), Sergio Garcia (68) and K.J. Choi (69) are tied for fourth place at 6-under-par 138.
 
Tiger Woods, the 2001 champion who left midweek to be with his ailing father Earl in California, improved on Friday. He posted a 3-under 69 and is part of a group tied for 20th place at 3-under-par 141.
 
'I felt like I hit the ball better than the score indicates because I missed a couple of short putts,' admitted Woods, who stated he did not speak with his father on Thursday night because his dad was resting. 'I just felt like I left a couple of shots out there.'
 
Woods began on the back nine Friday and collected four birdies in his first seven holes. At the famous island green, par-3 17th, Woods gave himself close to 60 feet for birdie. He blew that putt almost 12 feet by the hole and the top-ranked player in the world missed that putt. Woods bogeyed the difficult 18th, but made the stroke up with a birdie at the first.
 
The reigning Masters and British Open champion had some decent looks at birdie on the second nine, but nothing fell. At the par-5 ninth, Woods drove into the water and eventually hit his fourth over the putting surface. He took much less time than normal over his par chip, but no matter as Woods holed out to stay at minus-3.
 
'It should have been a seven, but ended up with a five,' said Woods, referring to his chip-in at his last. 'I was a little bit on the run there. As I told Clarkie (playing partner Darren Clarke), if he didn't get out of the way, I probably would have hit him.'
 
Woods will have to make up ground on the man he successfully teamed with at last year's Presidents Cup.
 
Furyk two-putted from 25 feet for a birdie at 11, then knocked his approach inside a foot to set up an easy birdie at the par-3 13th. He was 9 under par and two ahead, but the TPC at Sawgrass showed its teeth.
 
Furyk's second at the 15th missed the green right and he pitched to 10 feet. He missed the par putt, then his 19-footer for par at the closing hole stayed above ground.
 
At the first hole, Furyk knocked his approach to 2 feet. He tapped in the birdie putt to move back to 8 under par. The 2003 U.S. Open champion had some good looks at birdie on the way into the clubhouse, but parred out for the second-round lead.
 
'I grinded it out pretty good today,' said Furyk. 'I hit some good shots and maybe left a couple putts out there. I made a few bad swings today and gutted it out in a few spots. I'm happy with the day and have myself in good shape for the weekend.'
 
Scott, who won by a stroke two years ago, started on the second nine and mixed two birdies and his only bogey of the round, a three-putt from 70 feet at the 14th. He added birdies at two and four, then closed with back-to-back birdies at eight and nine.
 
'It was a good round today,' said Scott. 'I finished off strong with a couple of birdies on eight and nine. They were kind of a bonus.'
 
Ames was even on his round through six holes, then rattled off three birdies in a row from seven, all from inside 20 feet. He birdied 11 and 14, then three-putted from 55 feet for a bogey at the 15th.
 
Ames, who lost to Woods, 9 and 8, in the first round of this year's WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, tapped in for birdie at the par-5 16th, then ran home a 12-footer for birdie at the last to reach minus-7.
 
'I'm hitting the ball very well right now,' acknowledged Ames, who was the runner-up in 2002. 'I'm happy with the way it feels. It's always been a good golf course to my eye.'
 
Defending champion Fred Funk (69), John Rollins (71), Bo Van Pelt (71), Brad Faxon (69), Steve Flesch (70), Pebble Beach winner Arron Oberholser (71) and two-time Masters winner Jose Maria Olazabal (71) share seventh place at minus-5.
 
Also in that group is Greg Owen, who famously three-putted from 5 feet on the 71st hole last week at the Bay Hill Invitational. He shot a second-round, 4-under 68 on Friday.
 
Love was not the only big-name player to miss the cut, which fell at even-par 144. Justin Leonard (145), U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell (145), two-time runner-up Padraig Harrington (146), one of last year's runner-up Luke Donald (147) and David Toms (150) all missed the weekend.
 
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