Webb Simpson takes control of Players Championship with record-tying round

Day ended the week in tied-60th

Rory McIlroy will have an unscheduled weekend off after he missed the halfway cut following a disappointing 74 on the second day of The Players Championship.

Tiger Woods gave the crowd at the Players Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass some early Saturday thrills when he shot 6-under 30 on the front nine and 65 for the day to move into the top-10 at The Players Championship when he finished shortly after 1 p.m.

It was also his best score in relation to par since 2013, though he has played only sparingly in the ensuing five years while nursing a serious back injury.

Former world number one and 2016 victor Jason Day recorded a five-under-par 67 to be seven shots adrift of Simpson.

Although it crippled his hopes of bagging the course record outright, Simpson did equal Day's 2016 record for the lowest 36-hole score of 129. A lot depends on whether Simpson continues to build his five-stroke lead or stays within striking distance of the field.

But he rinsed his tee shot at the island green of the iconic par-3 17th en route to a double-bogey 5. A birdie at the fourteenth and then another gain at the easiest hole on the course, the par-4 sixteenth saw him inside the cut-line.

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Charl Schwartzel (66), Patrick Cantlay (68) and Danny Lee (66) are Simpson's nearest rivals heading into the penultimate round.

Former world No.1 Day's approach play was stellar, hitting 15 of 18 greens in regulations despite only hitting seven of 14 fairways.

Woods said he could not quite get it together on a day when birdies were there to be had. "All the swing work that I've done for the last couple of months I'm feeling comfortable with it now and it's paying off". Tee shots posed no threat; iron shots cut and drew at his will; putts that for the last 10 days have misfired finally found their mark.

Marc Leishman is three shots back having carded a second straight 71, while Cameron Smith is seven-over nearing completion of his round.

Rickie Fowler (71) - the 2015 victor - and four-time major champion McIlroy (74) were not so fortunate as they missed the cut.

Fourteen-time major victor Tiger Woods (71) finished on the cut line at one under, as did world number two Justin Thomas (70) and world number four Jordan Spieth (68).

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