Sun, May 14, 2017 - Page 11 News List

Oosthuizen secures share of lead at Players

AFP, PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Florida

South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen plays a shot on the 18th fairway in the second round of the Players Championship in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, on Friday.

Photo: EPA

South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen on Friday stretched his cuts made streak to 15 with a bogey-free 66 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.

“We’re in a pretty good spot going into this weekend,” Oosthuizen said. “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 was alone in third after shooting a three-under 69.

Veteran Vijay Singh was also lurking near the top of the leaderboard. The 54-year-old Fijian-Indian was 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) were tied for fifth at 139.

Oosthuizen, whose only win on the PGA Tour was at the Open Championship 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 last year’s the 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 and was at 142 along with Phil Mickelson (70), Adam Scott of Australia (72), Henrik Stenson of Sweden (70) and first-round coleaders 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 those at 144 are Masters champion Sergio Garcia of Spain (71), Justin Thomas (71) and Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy (71).

Players who did not make the cut included world No. 5 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.

EUROPEAN TOUR

AFP, PORTIMAO, Portugal

England’s Matt Wallace on Friday extended his lead to five shots in the weather-affected Portugal Open.

Wallace, who carded 10 birdies in a flawless opening 63, added five more in the first 12 holes of his second round before play was suspended due to darkness, following time lost due to thunderstorms on Thursday.

The 27-year-old is on 16-under-par and five ahead of Germany’s Sebastian Heisele, who followed his opening 64 by carding three birdies and a bogey in 12 holes on day two.

England’s Ashley Chesters and France’s Matthieu Pavon had set the clubhouse target on nine-under after rounds of 71 and 69 respectively.

Pavon was one-under-par after nine holes when the first round was suspended. When play resumed early on Friday, he made four birdies on the back nine to post a bogey-free 68.

The 24-year-old carded six birdies and two bogeys in round two later on Friday, while Chesters had an eagle, four birdies and four bogeys in his 71.

“I had a bit of momentum this afternoon,” Pavon said. “I played very solid to finish round one this morning, which gave me confidence going into round two straight afterwards and I managed to make a few birdies straight away.”

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