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McNeill packs, then unloads a 67

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Battling a sinus infection and a faulty swing, George McNeill decided to pack his bags and check out of the Sawgrass Marriott Friday morning prior to his second round in the Players.
 
Friday afternoon he was making plans to check back in after shooting a 5-under-par 67 that lifted him just above the cutline. He made it on the number at 2-under 142, the first time in three tries he's had a chance to play the weekend at TPC Sawgrass.
 
"I figured I'd be jumping in my car 10 minutes after putting out and driving home," McNeill, 34, said after his bogey-free effort initiated by a birdie-birdie start. "I held a reservation just in case. But after the way I played yesterday (75). I just expected the worst and hoped for the best. Obviously, I played pretty well to get back into it.
 
"I was just not swinging very well, missed a lot of putts. But I forced myself to go out to the range and hit some balls and try to figure it out. I got a little more comfortable with my game."
 
McNeill got inside the cutline by sinking a 12-foot par putt at the 16th and then hitting a pitching wedge to 10 feet and sinking the birdie at the island par-3 17th.
 
"That felt pretty good," said McNeill, who now can put off his 5-hour drive home to Fort Myers, Fla., for two more days. "Everything is in the car, and now I have to pull it all out, but I'd rather keep playing, obviously."
 
--Dave Shedloski

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