Matt Wallace diary day three: ‘I had to batten down the hatches to make the cut’

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Matt Wallace diary day three: ‘I had to batten down the hatches to make the cut’
Matt Wallace plays his second shot on the 14th hole during the second round of the Players Championship at Sawgrass
The Players Championship
Venue: Players Stadium Course, TPC Sawgrass Date: 14-17 March
Coverage: Live text commentary and in-play highlights during the third and final rounds on Saturday and Sunday on the BBC Sport website, plus regular updates from the course on BBC Radio 5 Live

On his Players Championship debut, Matt Wallace followed up his first-round 69 with a one-over-par 73 to make the cut at two under. It was a frustrating second round, as he reveals in the latest instalment of his exclusive Players diary for BBC Sport.

The first round was really good but this was a save-our-souls kind of day. I had to batten down the hatches over the last few holes.

I just did not have it today. We played the back nine first and from the get-go we made a bad choice on that tenth tee, where I hit a five wood 290 yards and was stuck behind a tree.

At the next, I put a bad swing on it and three-putted but at least I bounced back to make a birdie on the next.

My pace putting today was horrendous, probably the worst it has ever been. I’m not sure the reason for that but the greens definitely changed from nice and soft to crusty and relatively firm.

I kept finding myself in horrific positions, sometimes after good shots as well. I kept having six, seven-foot breaking putts up and over hills so I could not really give it a go.

But afterwards, I reminded my team that we have made the weekend, so let’s really forget about today. I wanted to go upwards and didn’t but there are 36 more holes to go and do that.

It was funny, we took the four iron out of the bag today and that par-three eighth, my penultimate hole, was a perfect four iron, so I had to conjure something with a three iron. I hit a decent shot which just ran through the back.

Once again, I was left with a tricky par save and it was crucial that I made it. But the way the course changed is something I have to get used to because, at a lot of majors, the greens change while you are playing them.

It is nice to hear Tiger Woods saying anyone who makes the cut this week can still win but I don’t quite see it that way. Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy are great front-runners and I wish them the best of luck if I can’t get a win.

All I’m thinking about is moving forward this weekend. I want to shoot two low rounds and see where it puts me and it might be beneficial that I have an early start for the third round.

If I can get a low one in, I can set up another decent tournament week. Making the cut here is great but, honestly, I want more than that and we have two more rounds on this beautiful golf course and hopefully I can go forward.

Matt Wallace was speaking to BBC golf correspondent Iain Carter.

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