Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Louis Oosthuizen, Kyle Stanley tied for Players Championship lead

PONTE VEDRA BEACH — As conditions toughened, Louis Oosthuizen and Kyle Stanley played even better.

Each shot 6-under 66 to share the lead at the Players Championship after Friday's second round, making it even more difficult for the top two players in the world to catch them.

Oosthuizen and his sweet swing were a good fit in any conditions at TPC Sawgrass, and he played bogey-free. Stanley had eight birdies as the wind increased and the firm putting surfaces became crusty.

"I definitely feel like I got the most that I could have out of that round," Stanley said.

Oosthuizen and Stanley were at 9-under 135, two shots ahead of J.B. Holmes (69).

World No. 1 Dustin Johnson and No. 2 Rory McIlroy scrapped it around in the morning, Johnson making only one birdie for 73 and McIlroy playing through nagging back pain for 71. They were at par 144.

The cut was at 2-over 146, and there will be another cut today because more than 78 players advanced to the weekend. That's when the tournament will finally start to take shape, and though Oosthuizen and Stanley stood out with the best scores of the second round, both know things can change quickly.

"We're in a pretty good spot going into this weekend," said Oosthuizen, the 2010 British Open champion who still hasn't won in the United States. "A lot of golf to be played around this golf course."

Surprise!

Vijay Singh, 54, was making putts from everywhere until a three-putt bogey on the 18th. He still shot 68 and went into the weekend only three shots out of the lead. If he were to win, he would become the oldest player to win on the PGA Tour at 54 years, 2 months, the tour said. Sam Snead is the oldest winner at 52 years.

"I came here feeling good about my game," he said. "I was ready to play. I was ready to play well, too."

There was one awkward aspect. Four years ago this week, Singh sued the tour, claiming it exposed him to "public humiliation and ridicule" during a 12-week investigation into his use of deer antler spray, then classified as a performance-enhancing drug.

The case remains in a New York court.

"I don't want to talk about that," Singh said.

The pain is real

Rory McIlroy, dealing with back pain, said he will have an MRI exam Monday when he returns to Northern Ireland after the tournament. During tournament preparation, he said, he re-aggravated a rib injury that caused him to miss two months this season. "It's obviously not 100 percent, but it's good enough to get myself around here for the next couple of days," he said.

Spieth not a crusty guy

Jordan Spieth was headed home after missing the cut for the third straight year, yet he didn't sound terribly upset. "It's just been on and around the greens. I just haven't quite figured it out," Spieth said. "These greens get pretty crusty, and, historically, whenever firm Bermuda greens are crusty to where it's tough to set the putter down, I just struggle with my alignment and it just kind of throws me off. It happened again here." His 75 put him at 4 over for the tournament.

Notables

• First-round co-leaders William McGirt and rookie Mackenzie Hughes slid down the leaderboard in synch. Both shot 75 and were 2 under.

• Defending champion Jason Day didn't make up any ground, either, trading birdies and bogeys for 72. He was seven back.

Ian Poulter, who got into the Players on a clerical mistake regarding his time away for injury, shot 67 and was in fourth with four others at 5 under.

Quotable

"I don't really know what to stay about that round. It was so bizarre."

Justin Thomas, who had only one par in a 19-hole stretch that started on his 12th hole Thursday and ended with his 12th hole Friday. His rounds of 73-71 put him at par 144.

Louis Oosthuizen, Kyle Stanley tied for Players Championship lead 05/12/17 [Last modified: Friday, May 12, 2017 10:15pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rick and Tom podcast: How good is this Lightning team?

    Lightning Strikes

    The Lightning is 5-1-1 to start the season but giving up a lot of goals each game, so just how good is this team? Rick Stroud and Tom Jones break it down in their latest podcast.

    New Jersey Devils right wing Kyle Palmieri, center right, collides with Lightning goalie Peter Budaj (31) as defenseman Victor Hedman (77) and defenseman Jake Dotchin (59) help defend. [AP photo]
  2. Florida Gators, Kevin Knox get preseason SEC basketball honors

    Blogs

    After last year's run to the Elite Eight, the Florida Gators are one of the favorites in the SEC.

  3. Dirk Koetter, not Jameis Winston, has to make the call

    Blogs

    “Touchdown” Tom Jones, the best Bucs columnist in town, htook it to the house Tuesday when he wrote that Jameis Winston should do the right thing and take a seat if he’s not perfectly healthy to play at Buffalo.

    Whether Jameis Winston plays Sunday or not is Dirk Koetter's call.
  4. This is no time for Jameis Winston to play hero

    Bucs

    Don't be a hero, Jameis.

    Do the right thing. Do what's best.

     Quarterback Jameis Winston #3 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers sits on the bench during the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on October 15, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) 700070683
  5. NBA off and running to its usual ending

    Blogs

    The NBA season began Tuesday night.

    It ends in June.

    Call me when the Warriors win.

    True, there was news Tuesday night, bad news, grisly news, as Celtics small forward and newcomer Gordon Hayward dislocated his ankle and broke his tibia in a look-away injury early in Boston’s opener at LeBron.

    Call me when the Warriors win, Martin Fennelly writes.