Day, who won the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow on Sunday, fired a bogey-free second round of five-under 67 on Friday (Saturday in Manila) to move to eight-under par in hot, humid conditions on the Stadium course at TPC Sawgrass.
'It's amusing, I started staying on the beach a few years ago and that's made the event a lot more enjoyable, ' the 29-year-old said.
Marc Leishman is three shots back having carded a second straight 71, while Cameron Smith is seven-over nearing completion of his round.
"I haven't approached it like I approach the major championship-calibre golf and this tournament and this golf course are major-championship calibre and therefore I need to go in with a different game plan and mindset and stick to it on the golf course".
A week that began with McIlroy full of confidence ended in despair as the 29-year-old paid the price for too many mistakes off the tee at TPC Sawgrass, where he closed 16 shots behind runaway leader Webb Simpson on one over par.
BC-GLF-Players Championship, 808McIlroy still searching for the secret to SawgrassAP Photo NCCB107, MH108, MH106, MH105, NYPS215Eds: With AP Photos.
Age before beauty? Perhaps it's age before birdies at The Players Championship for Wisconsin's own Steve Stricker. They instantly became the four majors and have continued until the recent is it or isn't it status of The Players. It's the strongest field in golf.
Bale, who watches golf closely and will be keeping an eye on proceedings at the Players Championship, has revealed that world No 1 Johnson is the one golfer he looks up to.
"It's a golf course that can frustrate you", McIlroy said. Just make sure you don't put your money on the defending champ, Si Woo Kim. Beyond that, it's anyone's guess.
For the first two rounds, McGirt is grouped with Zach Johnson and Brian Gay.
Dustin Johnson has never finished better than a tie for 12th.
The other super group of Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth did not play much better than Tiger & Co on Thursday. Earlier this week, Woods and Mickelson were verbally sparring during their respective meetings with the media.
It was an action-packed day for Lee, who shot eight birdies, an eagle, two bogeys, and a double bogey.
"I didn't love it the first couple of years I played it".
It has been two years since he captured his last PGA Tour title, at the Valspar Championship in Florida. Plus, the event is played at TPC Sawgrass every year, and no major plays at the same location every year other than The Masters.
The forecast is for warm temperatures, which should translate into a firm, fast course. Three players were tied for second.
The hole already offers players plenty to think about, with water surrounding the island green, but how would the players cope when face when taking on the hole with the opposite hand?