PLAYERS: Tiger Woods talks about neck injury

PLAYERS: Tiger Woods talks about neck injury

PLAYERS: Tiger Woods talks about neck injury

At least judging by his approach to his TPC Sawgrass bugaboo, the par-4 14th, where, after blowing his drive so far right that it almost landed on the 12th hole, he ripped one out the rough with the speed of an Acela train.

- There were no signs of trouble when Tiger Woods looped around the 16th green en route to the 17th tee box Friday morning at TPC Sawgrass.

Par is never a bad score - just ask Woods - on the 17th, and it contributed to his bogey-free round.

The two-time Players Championship victor got close, bouncing back with a pair of birdies and no bogeys on his back nine to shoot 1-under 71 in Round 2. "I just need to go out there and put it together this weekend, because right now literally anybody who makes the cut has got a chance to win this tournament".

A day after he scratched out a 2-under par 70, Woods arrived at the 17th hole 3-under par on his round and 5-under overall - two shots behind the leaders.

Woods used a pitching wedge from 146 yards but pulled it slightly, which meant the ball flew to the back of the green, rolled along the walkway and into the water. He birdied three of his first seven holes on Friday, before imploding on 17. He said the others in his group got a read off from his shot. Pepperell will play in his first Masters next month and is yet to visit Augusta National, but said on Wednesday that he's had a vision or two about golf's hallowed grounds. I feel like I can go ahead and hit it with my right hand again. Each time, Woods found the water surrounding the designer Pete Dye's iconic hole one time.

"I was pretty ticked, no doubt about that", Woods said. Ended up getting back to 3 (under).

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"I was determined to get it all back and get it back to five (under); I thought that would have been a hell of a fight", he said.

The forecast calls for cooler temperatures and a change in wind direction over the weekend, which could make scoring tougher on the Stadium Course. Although he has not yet committed, Woods likely will play in the WGC Match Play event in two weeks before playing in the Masters. "So it's very important for me going forward since the surgery to keep pliable or else the stress is going to go somewhere else". It kind of flatlined on me just a little bit, just a little pitching wedge. "And I think that everything is headed on track toward April".

"Other than 17 I really haven't done a while lot wrong".

"When Fred won in '96 when I worked for him he was four back of the lead, shot 8 under and won by four", he said.

The common thought about TPC Sawgrass is that it's not a course you want to try to play from behind at, because forcing the issue usually leads to big numbers. "I was going to play three or four".

"It was getting to the point where it was affecting my setup, my backswing, my through swing", Woods said. "But we all know if you land it on top it's got a good chance of getting out of here".

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