David Toms takes halfway lead at Players Championship

David Toms
Toms dropped his first two shots of the tournament in the second round

David Toms added a four-under-par 68 to his first-round 66 to lead the Players Championship at the halfway stage.

The American, who had six birdies and two bogeys on his card, is 10 under par, one clear of overnight leader Nick Watney (71) at Sawgrass in Florida.

Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell (69) and England's Luke Donald (67), who is yet to drop a shot, are alongside Steve Stricker (67) and Lucas Glover (71).

England's Brian Davis is six under after a second round of 69.

"The wind was swirling a bit and I'm happy with where I am," Davis said. "I was a little bit down and my caddie was whacking me on the backside."

World number three Luke Donald, who could usurp Lee Westwood at the top of the rankings if he wins the tournament that is often called the unofficial fifth major, was also pleased with his opening 36 holes.

Luke Donald
Donald could become world number one if he wins at Sawgrass

"It's very satisfying," he said. "I played better [on Friday], hitting a lot of greens and giving myself opportunities, it was a bit more of a cruise control round.

"I'm feeling good about my game."

Regining US Open champion McDowell enjoyed a good start to his round, with three birdies in his opening 11 holes.

He had a double bogey six at the 12th and dropped further shots on the 14th and 17th but three birdies in amongst kept his challenge on track.

McDowell, who has missed three cuts in his last four events, said: "I just couldn't piece anything together and you have crazy thoughts.

"Will I ever win again? Will I ever be in contention again? Am I done? Am I finished? I don't think I gave that thought any seriousness, but it flashes through your mind.

"I think everything flashes through. I sacked everyone, re-hired them, probably sacked them again.

"It's just the craziness of this sport, you never really know what's around the corner.

"That's why we love this game, it's why we hate it and it's why it keeps us coming back for more."

The craziness of the game certainly affected world number four Phil Mickelson in round two.

The American, starting on the 10th, had three birdies and sank a 40-foot eagle putt on the 16th as he completed his opening nine holes in five-under-par 31.

However, he dropped four shots on his second nine for a one-under-par round of 71 to join England's Ian Poulter and Scotland's Martin Laird on two under for the tournament.

"I had a really good front nine there and just let the round go," Mickelson said.

"I don't really know what to say. I stopped hitting fairways and really just kind of lost momentum."

Going into the weekend America's Bubba Watson is one player carrying momentum after following his opening round of 76 with a six-under-par 66 to join Mickelson on two under.

Toms, who did not drop a shot in the first round kept that statistic in tact until his 25th hole of the tournament to surge to the top of the leaderboard early in the second round.

However, he insisted: "I haven't done anything great, haven't made a lot of long putts or chip in or anything like that.

"I've just played very, very solid."

Among those missing the cut, which came at level par, were England duo Paul Casey (75) and Ross Fisher (73) who ended on two over, while South Africa's Ernie Els missed a putt on the last that would have seen him through to the last 36 holes.

Ireland's Padraig Harrington was another big name to fall with six bogeys and a double blighting his card as he finished the tournament on seven under par.

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