Players Championship 2019: Rory McIlroy and Tommy Fleetwood share the second round

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PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FLORIDA - MARCH 15: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland reacts after a birdie on the 17th green in the second round of the PLAYERS championship at TPC Sawgrass Stadium Stadium on March 15, 2019 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida . (Photo by Sam Greenwood / Getty Images)

Sam Greenwood / Getty Images

Rory McIlroy and Tommy Fleetwood share the lead of the 2019 Players Championship, at 12 cents, after the second round played Friday at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

McIlroy, who has not finished out of the top 10 after five PGA Tour starts in 2019, has played his last 11 holes at seven under par on the way to a 65. Fleetwood has one under 67 to stay at the top of the standings after equaling Keegan. Bradley for first place after the first round.

Jim Furyk, Ian Poulter, Brian Harman and Abraham Ancer are tied for third place at nine under.

McIlroy played himself in the Arnold Palmer Invitational tournament last week until a 72 final dropped him to sixth place. Surprisingly, it's its worst result this year.

Northern Irishman, 29, holds a consistent spot at the top of the standings, but weekend mistakes prevented him from being in the winning streak. It will seek to reverse this trend over the next two days after recording a single boguey on 36 holes.

McIlroy recorded four birdies in a five-hole course, starting at # 8, and finished strong with an eagle and a birdie in her last three holes to tie for first place.

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

EAGLE for @McIlroyRory.

He is 1 behind the head. 🦅

#LiveUnderPar https://t.co/TNJV04AMq3

Fleetwood is also moving in the right direction as the PGA Tour heads for next month's Masters, the first major championship of the season. He finished third at the Arnold Palmer invitation last week.

The finalist of the 2018 United States Open came out the door beating bird, eagle, bird to threaten to flee with the tournament. However, he played only one golf match for the remainder of the course, which left the door open for McIlroy to charge his late charge.

Fleetwood said this great start was a postponement of his pre-round work.

"I was warmed up so well that you wanted to talk about it, and I did a good trick yesterday, and it was only a perfect, perfect start" told reporters. "You know it will be a tough afternoon, so to really get a head start on the golf course, it's really good."

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

Birdie-eagle-birdie starts for @ TommyFleetwood1.

The leader is 2 @THEPLAYERSChamp. 🐦🦅🐦

#LiveUnderPar https://t.co/rOw7bqn5K6

Meanwhile, Tiger Woods played 17 holes of rock-solid golf Friday. The only black hole was a total disaster, however, as he hit two balls in the water on the famous 17th island hole, a normal 3, to finally attack a quadruple boguey. He eliminated almost all his progression in the under 71 years.

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

Golf is difficult.

Tiger Woods puts two in the water on No. 17. 💦 https://t.co/xEqCMx04Z0

Jordan Spieth, Phil MickelsonHenrik Stenson and Zach Johnson led the group of golfers who missed the cup from below after the second round.

McIlroy and Fleetwood found themselves in a similar situation a week ago and failed to convert. Saturday's question is whether to stay warm and turn players into a two-player race, or whether their weekend woes will come back to bring the rest of the field back into Sunday's picture.