Australian Day seizes PGA lead at Quail Hollow

Australian Day seizes PGA lead at Quail Hollow

Woods challenges the tour's top talent again starting Thursday at The Players Championship, when he will be paired alongside fellow former Players champions and United States compatriots Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler. Mickelson started firing at flags and made six birdies, but finished five shots back after a 69.

He sank five birdies from the last 10 holes to move two clear of an inexperienced chasing pack.

"I was just staying in my own world, staying in my lane and not really thinking about it too much", Day said. "Got a tap-in birdie on nine and a good shot down the middle on 10". "I know that there's a bunch of players in front of me that are trying to do the exact same thing and guys behind me trying to do the same thing".

The four-time major victor tumbled down the leaderboard on Friday after shooting a disappointing 76 to move over par, however, the County Down golfer has fought back to three under par and sits in a tie for 16th place, seven shots off leader Jason Day.

Peter Uihlein fired a sizzling nine-under 62 to be among the chasing pack tied for third. Instead? A first putt that raced nearly 9 feet past the pin, setting Woods up for a three-putt bogey and a complete halt to his momentum. That left a straightforward pitch back uphill, and he hit a fine enough effort that rolled to about four feet.

They have not been in the same group at the Players Championship since 2001. Save those last two holes, and he'd realistically be in contention for Sunday.

He won the Players back in 2016 and now has to be one of the favorites to win it again.

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Day, who won the Farmers Insurance Open in January, said he feels like he's close to the form he had at No. 1. I felt like it handcuffed me", admitted McIlroy of his first impressions of Sawgrass, explaining: "I've learnt to take it for what it is, a very positional golf course.

PGA Tour rookie Aaron Wise almost had a collapse late until he salvaged a most unlikely bogey.

"I'm close", Woods told reporters.

"You're lying 50th, you might as well try and blitz it a little bit and I was able to do that", he said.

The 28-year-old Uihlein used a stretch from No. 5 to 10 where he shot 7 under to start his charge, and then followed up with a pair of birdies on Nos.

Tiger Woods, who shot 3-under 68 to get to 1-under, walked off the course frustrated for the third consecutive day.

Day rated the victory one of the best of his career, not because of the quality of his play but more due to his ability to get the job done without his best game.

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