(CNN) -- Tiger Woods is seven shots off the lead after the second day of the Players Championship, with German Alex Cejka's five-under 67 putting him clear of the chasing field.
Tiger Woods has struggled at the TPC, falling seven shots off the leader Alex Cejka.
Cejka, who has not won a tournament on the PGA Tour, leads Ian Poulter by two shots with a group of six players featuring this year's Masters winner Angel Cabrera and the American Kevin Na two shots further back.
Ben Crane, the opening day's leader, is a shot further back after carding a one-over par 73.
It has been a tough tournament for the field's top seeds, with Woods, Phil Mickelson and defending champions Sergio Garcia -- the world's No.one, two and three respectively -- well off the pace going into the third round.
Mickleson and Garcia are 11 shots off Cejka and can consider themselves lucky to be playing the weekend.
Poulter, however, expected the winning score to be 16 or 17 under, which gives Woods, Mickleson and Garcia some slim hope.
"Guys are going to still shoot some good scores [Saturday]," Poulter told PGATOUR.com. "With the weather forecast that I've seen, it's perfect."
Cejka, who has played full time in the United States since 2003, began the day at six under par, a shot behind overnight leader Ben Crane.
The 39-year-old quickly moved past his American rival on the par-72, 7,215-yard Players Stadium Course with three birdies in a row between the second and fourth holes and went on to move 11 under for the tournament.
Cejka needed a pre-round injection to ease some pain in his neck. "I had a pinched nerve and I had a numb arm for three weeks," he said. "So they had to go in there and put some cortisone shot in the nerve, so it's healing better.
"It's still not 100% but I can feel my hand, so that's a good sign."
Ryder Cup player Poulter fired a four-under-par 68 including five birdies and one bogey having started the day at five under.
Mickelson, the 2007 Players champion, needed a birdie at the par-five ninth, his last hole, to reach the clubhouse at level par following a 71.
Despite an eagle at the same hole, 2004 champion Adam Scott could only finish with 74, at one over for the week, but Luke Donald of England did enough on his back nine to sneak into the weekend.
But Northern Ireland's 20-year-old Rory McIlroy, who started at two over, shot a 77, finishing with a double bogey at the ninth, to end his week at seven over.