Tiger Woods on the cut line after second-round 71 at TPC Sawgrass

Tiger Woods faces an anxious wait to see if he has made the halfway cut at The Players Championship after firing a one-under 71.

Woods, who hit only five fairways on day one but scrambled hard to salvage a 72, put together a steady, but unspectacular second round featuring just one bogey and only two birdies as he closed right on the projected cut line.

But playing partner Phil Mickelson will have the weekend off, although he did restore some pride with an excellent front nine that was too late to repair the damage of his expensive finish on Thursday evening, when he dropped seven shots in four holes.

And two costly late mistakes from Rickie Fowler saw him miss the cut, with back-to-back double-bogeys undoing all his fine early work in which he got himself to three under for the tournament with four holes to play.

Woods’ accuracy off the tee was a vast improvement, but the putting frustrations he endured at last week’s Wells Fargo Championship resurfaced as he failed to convert four birdie chances from 15-foot range over his first six holes.

The 42-year-old finally got a putt to drop for birdie at 16, but he missed from 10 feet for another at the next and then slipped back to level par when he blocked his approach to the 18th into a tricky lie to the right of the green and was unable to get up and down.

Another great chance went begging at the second, although he lifted himself with a confident stroke for birdie at the third and then had issues getting the ball close to the pins over the next five holes.

Woods almost had a bonus when a long-range putt lipped out at the eighth, and his par at the long ninth rounded off another day of frustration on the greens for the former world No 1.

Mickelson, who made three double-bogeys in four holes in his opening 79, saw his chances of making the cut effectively end when he carved his tee shot to the short 13th into water and ran up a five.

But, after turning in 38, the left-hander rallied and made four birdies in five holes on the front nine, although he then faltered down the stretch for the second day running as he closed out a disappointing event with three straight bogeys to slump to eight-over par.

Fowler, the third member of the fan-favourite threesome, was nicely placed on three under – five under for the day – when he followed a back-nine 34 with three birdies in four holes from the second.

But the 2015 winner then pushed his drive too far right at the sixth and suffered the misfortune of his ball appearing to get stuck up a tree, forcing him back to the tee and leading to a double-bogey six.

Fowler then compounded the error by pulling his next tee shot into the water, resulting in another double-bogey, and that left him too much to do to avoid a missed cut as he signed for a 71, closing on one-over par.

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