PGA Tour

Oosthuizen shares halfway Players lead

Louis Oosthuizen (AFP)
Louis Oosthuizen (AFP)

Ponte Vedra Beach - South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen stretched his cuts-made streak to 15 with a bogey-free 66 on Friday to grab a share of the lead after the second round of The Players Championship.

The 34-year-old from Mossel Bay reached nine-under 135 to tie Kyle Stanley (66) with a two-shot lead at the TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

"We're in a pretty good spot going into this weekend," said Oosthuizen.

"A lot of golf to be played around this course, and as we've seen the last two days, you can easily make a mistake."

American J.B. Holmes is alone in third after shooting a three-under 69.

Veteran Vijay Singh is also lurking near the top of the leaderboard. The 54-year-old Fijian-Indian is by himself in fourth after shooting a 69 to reach six-under 138, three shots adrift of the leaders.

David Hearn of Canada (69), Rafa Cabrera Bello of Spain (70), Patrick Cantlay (70), Ian Poulter of England and Alex Noren of Sweden (71) are tied for fifth at 139.

Six players - including Jon Rahm of Spain (72), former US Open champion Webb Simpson (69), Brendan Steele (71) and England's Paul Casey (69) - are another stroke back at 140 and tied for 10th.

Oosthuizen, who's only win on the PGA Tour was at the British Open in 2010, has 13 victories worldwide including eight on the European Tour.

His round on Friday, which began on the back-nine, featured six birdies and no bogeys after he collected four birdies and one bogey in the opening round on Thursday.

The last time Oosthuizen missed a cut on the PGA Tour was the 2016 Open Championship, a run of 15 straight made cuts.

"I'm rolling the ball really nicely and feel really confident on the greens," Oosthuizen said.

Defending champion Jason Day fashioned a 72 on Friday and is at 142 along with Phil Mickelson (70), Adam Scott of Australia (72), Henrik Stenson of Sweden (70) and first-round co-leaders William McGirt (75) and Mackenzie Hughes of Canada (75).

World No 1 Dustin Johnson followed up his first-round 71 with a 73 and stands at 144, nine strokes off the lead heading into the weekend.

Among the others at 144 are Masters champion Sergio Garcia of Spain (71), Justin Thomas (71) and Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy (71).

Singh's position near the top of the leaderboard comes as a surprise considering he has missed nine out of his last 10 cuts.

"I don't try to remember what I did in the past, I came here feeling good about my game. I was ready to play well, too. I'm playing well and I'm excited about it," Singh said.

If Singh wins this week, he would become the oldest player to do so on the PGA Tour. Sam Snead currently owns the record at 52 years.

Players who didn't make the cut included world number five Jordan Spieth who finished at two-over 146.

American Jim Furyk, Marc Leishman of Australia, Bernhard Langer of Germany and Ernie Els of South Africa also failed to get into weekend play.

Leading scores after Friday's second round of the PGA Tour's The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida (USA unless noted):

135 - Louis Oosthuizen (RSA) 69-66, Kyle Stanley 69-66

137 - J.B. Holmes 68-69

138 - Vijay Singh (FIJ) 70-68

139 - David Hearn (CAN) 70-69, Rafa Cabrera Bello (ESP) 69-70, Patrick Cantlay 69-70, Alex Noren (SWE) 68-71, Ian Poulter (ENG) 72-67

140 - Chez Reavie 68-72, Jon Rahm (ESP) 68-72, Webb Simpson 71-69, Lucas Glover 70-70, Brendan Steele 69-71, Paul Casey (ENG) 71-69

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