Jason Day has surged into contention in the Players championship at Sawgrass after a brilliant 66 in the second round, making light of the back injury that forced him to withdraw from the previous week’s tournament.
On a day that had a Ryder Cup feel about it, Day made eight birdies, closing out his day with a nice wedge in close on the ninth hole for another birdie and a six-under total.
At eight-under overall, he is tied-seventh just four shots from the lead held by Europe’s Ryder Cup men Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy at 12-under, with another Ryder Cup superstar Ian Poulter in second spot and the Emirates Australian Open victor Abraham Ancer also in the running, tied with Poulter at 10-under.
Day withdrew from the Bay Hill tournament last week and has since had cortisone injections in his back.
“Obviously I know how much it hurt last week, but then given the injections and the cortisone and all that stuff that went in there, I know that we have hit the spot because I can’t feel a thing, which is good,” Day said. “I don’t want to be out there playing golf and knowing that it hurts.”
Former world No. 1 Tiger Woods dunked two balls in the water at the famous par-three 17th on his way to an otherwise good 71.
First-round leader Fleetwood had a late tee time and conceded the lead to veteran Jim Furyk, Kevin Kisner and Poulter for a time, but the Englishman quickly birdied the first and then splashed out of sand beside the second green and in the cup for an eagle to regain top billing.
He ended up carding a 67 to go with Thursday’s opening 65 and he is the one to beat along with McIlroy who had a dynamic back nine today.
Adam Scott also played nicely today carding a three-under par 69 to be inside the top 20 at the halfway point.