Johnson, Na, Kuchar Lead Players Golf as Tiger Woods Makes Cut

Americans Zach Johnson, Matt Kuchar and Kevin Na share a one-shot lead at 8 under par entering the third round of the U.S. PGA Tour’s Players championship, where Tiger Woods made four straight birdies to avoid missing the cut for the second straight week.

Johnson, Kuchar and Na are one shot ahead of another American, Harris English. Five players are tied for fifth at 6 under at the TPC Sawgrass course in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

Woods is at 2 under for the tournament after shooting a 4-under 68 yesterday. After following a birdie on the fourth hole with a bogey on the fifth, Woods made four straight birdies, beginning on the eighth hole. He had a 2-over 74 in the opening round.

Woods, who failed to qualify for weekend play at last week’s Wells Fargo Championship, has never missed the cut two weeks in a row as a professional. He finished 40th in last month’s Masters Tournament, golf’s first major of the season, his worst finish in the event as a professional.

Woods, a 14-time major tournament winner, withdrew from the Players, golf’s richest tournament with a $9.5 million purse, each of the past two years. The winner will receive $1.71 million.

Johnson, the winner of the 2007 Masters Tournament, shot 6-under 66 yesterday with eight birdies and two bogeys following a 2-under score in the opening round.

Rory McIlroy, the world’s No. 1 ranked golfer, missed the cut with rounds of 72 and 76. Phil Mickelson, who was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame on May 7, is 2 under for the tournament after consecutive rounds of 71.

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