Golf Digest Products & Services
Golf Digest Golf Schools Golf Digest Shop Golf Digest Perks
Hole-in-One FREE Travel & Real Estate Info Golf World Boardroom Golf Digest Insiders International Editions
Kaymer takes 1-shot lead over Spieth at Players
By DOUG FERGUSON
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Florida (AP) Martin Kaymer followed up his course-record first round by shooting a 3-under 69 on Friday to hold a one-stroke lead at The Players Championship going into the weekend.
Kaymer's lead was eroded by Jordan Spieth, who fired a 66 in his first big tournament since tying for second at the Masters.
Kaymer capped off his 69 with a pitching wedge to within 4 feet of the hole on the 17th's island green.
"Everything is coming together nicely," Kaymer said.
The 29-year-old German was at 12-under 132. That matched the best 36-hole score on the Stadium Course at the TPC Sawgrass in 20 years, dating to Greg Norman's record-setting performance. Norman made only one bogey that week.
Adam Scott, in his first tournament as a married man, kept alive his hopes of going to No. 1 in the world this week with three birdies in his last four holes for a 67. That was a 10-shot improvement from Thursday and enabled him to make the cut on the number at even-par 144.
Rory McIlroy shot 42 on the front nine and appeared headed home early until making birdie on the 18th hole to salvage a 74 to make the cut.
Phil Mickelson missed his birdie attempt on No. 18 and had a 70 to miss the cut by one. Mickelson also went home early at the Masters.
"I don't feel bad about the game," Mickelson said. "But mentally, I'm just really soft right now."
Kaymer is winless dating to the HSBC Champions in Shanghai at the end of 2011, so he did not let his expectations get too high after shooting a 63 on Thursday.
"Even though I shot 9-under par yesterday ... if people want to talk negative about it, I then shot six shots worse. But you can always go in the negative. I see very positive things that I backed up that 9-under par with another decent round."
Spieth hit his stride in the middle of the back nine with a 6-iron on the par-3 13th that rode the ridge down to about 4 feet, and a 6-iron from 184 yards on the 14th to 3 feet.
"It was a nice break to land and roll to pin-high, because it was a very tricky pin with quite a bit of slope around the hole," he said.
Spieth held a two-shot lead with 11 holes to play at the Masters and his game looks every bit as solid at Sawgrass, a course he had only seen while playing a junior event. He finished second in that one, too.
And that's what keep him going. Asked he if was getting bored being in contention so much, he smiled and said, "No, because I haven't won one."
"You should probably have to win every time in order for it to get boring," he said. "But not even Tiger gets bored."
Russell Henley didn't make a par over his last six holes - three bogeys, three birdies - for a 71 and was in third place at 8-under 136. Sergio Garcia (71), U.S. Open champion Justin Rose (71), Gary Woodland (71), Lee Westwood (71) and Jim Furyk (68) were six shots behind.
Updated May 9, 2014
© 2014 Condé Nast. All rights reserved
Your California Privacy Rights
The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Condé Nast.