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Rose's compatriot, Paul Casey, withdrew on Wednesday because of a back injury. Granted, it's impossible to think that any course has got this guy's number. All he had to do was navigate the shortest and scariest hole Friday afternoon on the Stadium Course. He managed to get on the green from there, but missed an 8-footer for par.

The consolation was enormous.

Webb Simpson has blown the chance to smash several Players Championship records held by Greg Norman and Jason Day during an otherwise historic round at TPC Sawgrass.

"Everything is going in", he said. I started playing a lot better and have rolled with it. "I knew this was going to be an issue".

"I'm just trying to get comfortable with my putter". At that point, all he could do was laugh. I was pretty good the first time I switched.

In the 26 competitive rounds the 29-year-old has completed in The Players Championship since his debut in 2009, he has recorded only five rounds below 70.

Charl Schwartzel (66), Patrick Cantlay (68) and Danny Lee (66) are five shots behind. That was particularly interesting in that Tiger Woods had finished hours earlier with the latter score.

Two-time TPC Sawgrass victor Tiger Woods is expected to make the projected 36-hole cut of one-under right on the number after he backed up his opening 72 with a 71 on Friday. Spieth three-putted from 35 feet, though he shot 68 and ended three straight years missing the cut. Rory McIlroy wasn't so fortunate. He's taken the game to new levels and the type of golf he played and is starting to play now is unbelievable. He still tied the record with a nine-under 63, and he had a five-shot lead, the largest in the 45 years of this tournament. And then he saw a leaderboard. "We were talking about it throughout the round, all three of us".

The real challenge will be catching Simpson.

He will tee off with Schwartzel in the final pairing on Saturday, and although there is still a long way to go in this most competitive of championships, something remarkable will have to happen for him not to be in the final group again on Sunday. They can't tell you how many Nancy Lopez has or Hale Irwin has. He opened bogey-bogey-eagle-double bogey, and it didn't get a lot better from there. Paul Tesori, Simpson's caddie, said, "I nearly get emotional sometimes". McIlroy's 74 on Friday means he only lasted two days at the tournament.

Day's countryman Marc Leishman was two shots back at one under after a bogey at the hard par-four 18th gave the Victorian a 71.

"It looked like they were making birdies left and right".

JASON Day has surged up the leaderboard during the second round but former US Open victor Webb Simpson is threatening to run away with the Players Championship. "It's a miracle round".

Unfortunately, that's as good as the day got for him.

"So we have basically taken it back wo where it was in 2011, 2010, when I was playing well", he said. He tried the "AimPoint" method that some players use to help them read the greens. Three times McIlroy has missed the cut, although he has three top-ten finishes.

Fowler was done in by consecutive doubles that started with an errant and unlucky tee shot at the par-4 sixth.