Friday's Birdies and Bogeys

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Friday's Birdies and Bogeys

May 09, 2013

Photo By: Getty Images

Photo By: AP Photos

Photo By: Getty Images

Photo By: Getty Images

Photo By: Getty Images

Photo By: Getty Images

Photo By: Getty Images

Photo By: Getty Images

Photo By: Getty Images

Photo By: Getty Images

Birdie: Sergio Garcia

Garcia famously stated at the 2012 Masters he didn't think he had what it takes to win a major. But the "fifth major"? He knows he can win that. The 2008 champion is in good shape to add another crystal trophy to his collection after a second-round 65 gave him the lead heading into the weekend. Garcia started the day with six pars, but birdied eight of next 11, including five straight birdies on holes 2-6 to match a career best streak. It might have been the happiest he's looked on a golf course since 2008 as well.

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Bogey: Roberto Castro

Welcome to golf: One day you're the guy to beat. The next people have already forgotten your name. Castro's stunning 63 on Thursday tied the tournament record set by Fred Couples and Greg Norman, but at one point on Friday he wasn't even a lock to make the cut. Six pars to close out his round kept him around for the weekend, but his 78 left him well behind the leaders. At least he'll be in the record books until someone shoots a 62.

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Birdie: Tiger Woods

With a well-documented poor (by his standards) track record at TPC Sawgrass, Woods was in the rare position of being a longshot this week. Not anymore. Wearing all black, the world No. 1 shot a second straight 67 to post his best 36-hole total at the Players by six shots. Woods was loose and relaxed playing with Matt Kuchar and Brandt Snedeker the first two days. Something tells us the atmosphere will be a little different when he tees it up with longtime nemesis Sergio Garcia on Saturday -- not that we expect any different results.

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Bogey: Phil Mickelson

A week after squandering a chance to win at Quail Hollow, Mickelson never got on track at TPC Sawgrass. He was still in position to play the weekend, but he bogeyed two of his final three holes, including the par-5 ninth. Mickelson had made the cut in this event 11 years in a row, but it's tough to score when you hit just six fairways and seven greens in regulation. Phrankenwood or not, those are scary numbers.

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Birdie: Lee Westwood

How do you put yourself among the leaders despite only making one birdie on the front nine in two days? By being the only player in the field without a blemish on your card through two rounds. Westwood began this tournament with 14 straight pars, but he birdied 15, 16 and 18 Thursday before opening with a 31 on the back nine on Friday. A 54-hole leader here in 2010, Westwood wouldn't shake the title of best player without a major with a victory here, but it still would be the biggest win of his career.

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Bogey: Dustin Johnson

The talented Johnson is considered by many to be the best athlete on the PGA Tour. Unfortunately, he might also be the most injury-prone. For a second straight week -- and for a third time overall in 2013 -- DJ withdrew from a tournament. The most alarming part is he cited an ailing lower back today when just a week ago it was a bad wrist that kept him from teeing it up. We can only wonder what potential future father-in-law Wayne Gretzky must think of his pain threshold.

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Birdie: Unlikely Hole-Outs

There have been four eagles on TPC Sawgrass' 18th hole ever. Half of them have come this week. A day after Jason Dufner made a deuce there, Marc Leishman equaled the feat, propelling the recent contender at the Masters to a Friday 66. But 18 hasn't been the only hole producing Sportscenter highlights this week. Jerry Kelly made the fifth-ever eagle on No. 14 on Friday and Michael Thompson made the sixth-ever ace on No. 8 on Thursday.

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Birdie: Matt Kuchar

Kuchar was expected to break the unofficial record for smiles flashed as a defending champion at TPC Sawgrass, but he could also be the first to win here in back-to-back years. Playing alongside Tiger Woods, the Georgia Tech product topped the World No. 1 on Friday with a 66 to put him in the top 10 entering the weekend. With a win already at the WGC-Match Play this year, Kuchar could even move ahead of Woods in the player of the year race with another victory here.

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Birdie: Henrik Stenson

Actually, the Swede was all about making eagles on Friday. He produced two of them on his closing nine holes to shoot a 67 and climb within two shots of the lead heading into the weekend. After struggling mightily during the 2010-12 PGA Tour seasons, Stenson has bounced back in the last year with a win at the South African Open and a runner-up at the Shell Houston Open. He's also a rare comfortable player on this Pete Dye course where he had the biggest win of his career four years ago.

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Bogey: Keegan Bradley

The 2011 PGA champ made the turn on Friday figuring a good finish would put him among the leaders. Instead, a disastrous back nine will have the big basketball fan watching the NBA Playoffs from home this weekend. Bradley doubled the easy 12th hole and added a bogey at 14 and found the water off the tee on 17 and 18 for a closing 42. Bradley certainly wasn't the only big name leaving TPC Sawgrass early, but he had the most combustible exit.

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