By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- A day after tying the course record, Robert Castro went the other direction.
Castro carded a 6-over 78 on Friday at TPC Sawgrass -- a 15-shot swing from his opening round as he went from a three-shot lead to trailing by eight heading into the weekend.
"If it was easy, everybody would do it," Castro said. "I wouldn't have been embarrassed or felt bad or anything if I would have shot two 76s this week. It's a hard golf course.
"I'm 3‑under par, and beating 110 of the best players in the world through 36 holes. So I just kept telling myself, it's not easy. It's not easy. It's not easy."
The day started easy enough for Castro, who birdied the par-5 second after reaching the green in two and two-putting from 25 feet.
Things started to go south beginning on the fourth, however, where he missed the green on his approach, then nearly chipped off the green and into the water.
Castro went on to bogey the hole and thee of his next four.
On the par-5 11th, Castro's troubles continued when he found the water on his second shot on the 550-yard hole. He made bogey.
Things went from bad to worse on No. 12, where Castro was forced to take a drop after an errant tee shot to the right. He laid up short of the green on his next shot, then missed an 8-foot bogey putt and made double.
On the upside, Castro parred each of his last six holes and will play the weekend in his first PLAYERS Championship.
"Kind of a loose short game on the front, and then I kind of settled down," he said. "It was nice to finish with six really solid holes.
"Obviously THE PLAYERS Championship is huge all over the world, so it's exciting. It's a good place to be. I've played plenty of Friday rounds, three or four outside the cut, and that's no fun, you know. Today was fun."