Tiger Woods shoots 69 despite problems
Tiger Woods moved into contention with a three-under-par 69 in the Players Championship second round on Friday, despite growing concern over his father's failing health.
The world number one, who had considered pulling out of the tournament earlier in the week, birdied four of his first seven holes before finishing at three-under 141.
Woods was in danger of bogeying his final hole, the par-five ninth, after finding water off the tee but chipped in from 30 feet from behind the green for a par five.
That left him five strokes behind leader Jim Furyk, who returned a 71 in the more blustery conditions of the afternoon.
"I felt like I hit the ball better than the score indicates because I missed a couple of short putts," Woods told reporters.
"I had a three-putt on 17 and then missed two short ones on seven and eight for birdie. I just felt I left a couple of shots out there.
"But the conditions are getting tough. The wind is swirling in the trees, the rough is up and the greens are drying out. Three under par is right there, it's right in the ball-game."
Needing a flying start on another overcast morning at the TPC at Sawgrass after battling to a first-round 72, Woods delivered.
The 2001 champion sank a 17-footer to birdie his first hole, the par-four 10th, and picked up another shot at the par-five 11th.
Despite pushing his drive well right at the par-four 14th, he hit a superb iron from the rough to within 14 feet of the flag and made the putt.
The 10-times major winner, whose father Earl has been battling prostate cancer since 1998, got to four under after reaching the green in two at the par-five 16th and two-putting.
However, Woods lost ground with bogeys on the next two holes which are considered the most difficult on the par-72 Stadium Course.
He three-putted at the treacherous par-three 17th, before throwing his ball into the water off the island green, and found the right rough with his drive and his second shot at the water-lined, par-four 18th.
Woods recovered immediately, though, as the sun finally broke through at Sawgrass.
He rolled in a nine-foot birdie putt at the par-four first and did well to salvage a par at the 471-yard fifth where he sank a 20-footer after being well short of the green in two shots.
Woods stayed at three under by parring the last eight holes in a week when golf is a low priority for him.
"There's a chance I might not play for a while," he told reporters on Thursday. "I mean, who knows. It all depends on how my father is doing."
Asked whether he would consider missing next month's U.S. Masters, where he will be hunting a fifth green jacket as defending champion, Woods replied: "You never know."