PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Television cameras and thousands of eyeballs focused on Tiger Woods' right foot as he made his way up the sixth fairway.
No worries, though. It was just a broken shoe.
Woods snapped the eyelet during his tee shot at the par-4 No. 5, called for a backup shoe and made a quick swap following his approach shot on the next hole. He found some rhythm a few minutes later, enough to help him avoid missing the cut for the second consecutive week.
Woods made four straight birdies in the middle of his round Friday, shot a 4-under 68 and made it to the weekend at The Players Championship. He also ended a streak of nine consecutive rounds in the 70s on the PGA Tour.
"I probably could have gotten one or two more out of it," said Woods, who missed the cut last week at the Wells Fargo Championship. "But I really played well today. I was just very consistent, and nothing spectacular, just real solid golf."
Woods finished the second round six shots behind co-leaders Zach Johnson, Kevin Na and Matt Kuchar. But with danger lurking on every hole, no lead is safe on the treacherous Stadium Course. So Woods likes his position.
"I'm still with a good chance," he said.
Woods closed ground on the par-5s Friday, making birdies on three of the four long holes.
"I had to play them better than I have been playing par 5s, period," Woods said. "Good drives here, you're hitting irons to just about every par 5, especially 9. ... Those four par 5s, you've got to have iron to the green. We as players just have to take care of the par 5s."
Woods' four-hole birdie stretch started at the par-3 eighth — not long after the shoe swap. He landed his tee shot pin high into a stiff wind and made a 10-footer.
"Yeah, it was fun to see him kind of get things going, and it looked like he freed up a little bit and started playing some golf," playing partner Rickie Fowler said. "You know, he's hitting a lot of good shots and hitting a lot of good putts. There's a lot of putts that didn't go in."
Woods followed with impressive approach shots on Nos. 9, 10 and 11, all of them setting up birdies.
"I was trying to just keep plugging along," he said. "I ended up making four in a row there. And then at 12 I had just a little flip sand wedge in there to make par, and I thought I stuffed it there at 13. It was a foot or two from being a kick in. It would have been a really nice stretch there."
LAND LOVER: Robert Allenby wasn't sure a pitching wedge would get to the back pin on the island-green 17th, so he went with a chip 9-iron. But he could see it catch a gust, and as it floated down to earth, Allenby held his breath.
The ball barely made it to the island, nestled in the rough next to the bunker. He chipped in for a birdie, which enabled him to make the cut.
But that's not the significance of the 17th hole on Friday.
Since he first played the TPC Sawgrass in 1995, and in the 53 rounds that followed, Allenby has never hit it in the water.
"Hit it in the middle of the green," he said with a laugh.
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