Toms Holds 1-Shot Lead at Golf’s Players; Mickelson Slips

Golfer David Toms
David Toms hits his tee shot. Photographer: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

David Toms had six birdies today to take a one-shot lead in the second round of golf’s Players championship, while Phil Mickelson slipped back with four bogeys over his final seven holes.

Toms, the 2001 PGA Championship winner, shot a 4-under par 68 today at the TPC at Sawgrass course in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, and is 10 under for the tournament.

He’s one shot in front of fellow American and first-round leader Nick Watney, and two ahead of U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland, England’s Luke Donald and Americans Steve Stricker and Lucas Glover, last week’s winner of the U.S. PGA Tour’s Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte, North Carolina.

“I’ve played really, really solid,” Toms, who hasn’t won a tournament since the 2006 Sony Open, told reporters after his round. “I haven’t done anything necessarily great, I’ve just been very solid in every part of the game.”

Phil Mickelson, the No. 4 player in the Official World Golf Ranking, slipped back this afternoon with a 4-over 40 on his final nine holes. His 1-under total of 71 began with the left-hander making three birdies and an eagle over his first nine holes. He’s 2 under for two rounds.

Watney, whose opening-day 64 was one shot more than the tournament record for 18 holes, began his second round this afternoon and birdied the par-5 second hole to reach 9 under.

No Tiger Woods

Golf’s richest tournament is being played without Tiger Woods, who withdrew after nine holes yesterday with knee and ankle injuries.

Woods, who also withdrew from the tournament last year with a bad neck, is recovering from injuries sustained during the Masters Tournament last month. He was 6 over through his opening nine holes when he decided to stop playing. It was Woods’s first appearance since the Masters, where he tied for fourth.

The Players championship, which Woods won in 2001, has a purse of $9.5 million.