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2019 Player's championship list: Rory McIlroy goes low, co-driver after 36 holes



It may not be enough Toptracer software for the weekend. Rory McIlroy and Tommy Fleetwood – ball striking phenomena, both – led the 2019 Players Championship after 36 holes, both of which fell 12-under 132s in the first two days at TPC Sawgrass. For Fleetwood, it was 65-67. For McIlroy, it was the opposite, 67-65.

Add them all on Friday night, and you get what will be a slugfest over the weekend from two of the best in the sport right now. Let's take a look at the 36-hole TPC Sawgrass leaderboard.

1

. Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood (-12): How do you follow a 65 on Thursday? If you are Fleetwood you go with a 3-3-2 start to Friday. Fleetwood went out in 33 and came home in 34 with a birdie on the nasty 18th, and now he is where he was last week after 36 holes – slept on the lead. He sounded relaxed and ready to improve the 76 he shot in round 3 at Bay Hill.

"For us growing up in Europe and playing in Europe, it's another golfing style here," Fleewood told the Golf Channel. "It takes a little getting used to. It definitely stretches your game. I've had this out after coming over. I enjoy going to work when I'm here."

McIlroy closed as Fleetwood opened with a 3-2-4 ending to the day that could possibly drive him to his first title since last year's Arnold Palmer Invitational. After opening the day with a bogey, he played the next 17 holes for 8 under and must not miss a shot. Here is a look at the top five in strokes obtained from tee to green.

  1. Rory McIlroy: 9.5
  2. Tommy Fleetwood: 7.9
  3. Keith Mitchell: 6.9
  4. Ben An: 6.3
  5. Matt Kuchar: 6.1

It's obscene.

T3. Jim Furyk, Brian Harman, Ian Poulter, Abraham Ancer (-9): I … didn't see Furyk against The Players this week. He has had a good story here, but I guess the man will be 49 in May and doesn't have a top 10 at this tournament since he finished after Martin Kaymer 2014. Heck, he hasn't even broken 70 since the last round it year (11 total rounds). Then he releases a 64 on Friday? Golf, darling, best.

T7. Jason Day, Kevin Kisner, Keith Mitchell (-8): Day made eight (!) Birdies on Friday during his 66th. All this just a week after he resigned from Arnold Palmer Invitational and a few days after few injections for back, which he talked about earlier this week. "I have never had injections before, so we did four injections in and around the spine, and it obviously has relieved much of the pain," Day said. It is clearly helped as the 2016 champion has notched 12 birdies a week, which is second only to Ancer in total birdies made during the week.

T10. Rory Sabbatini, Jon Rahm, Dustin Johnson, Ben An, J.T. Poston, Luke List, Vaughn Taylor (-7): McIlroy was not the only one who galloped at the end of the day on Friday. D.J. also played the last three holes in 3 under, and another star in Rahm joined him by making a bogey at No 18. Either of these guys have the firepower to get double digits early on Saturday and run down McIlroy and Fleetwood.

CBS Sports was with you all the way Friday updating this story with the latest scores, analysis and highlights from The Players Championship. If you can't see the updates below, click here. Also subscribe to our podcast, The First Cut with Kyle Porter, where we watch every week in the world of golf.

Thank you for quitting.


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