Louis Oosthuizen
2017 THE PLAYERS Championship
(The 27th of 43 events in the PGA TOUR Season)                                
Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
May 11-14, 2017                                                                            
FedExCup Points: 600                             
THE PLAYERS Stadium          
Par/Yardage: 36-36—72/7,189                                  
Purse: $10,500,000 ($1,890,000)
TPC Sawgrass
Second-Round Notes – Friday, May 12, 2017
Weather: Mostly sunny with a high of 91. Wind WSW 8-16 mph.
Second-Round Leaderboard
Louis Oosthuizen          69-66—135 (-9)
Kyle Stanley                  69-66—135 (-9)
J.B. Holmes                  68-69—137 (-7)
Vijay Singh                    70-68—138 (-6)
Louis Oosthuizen
In search of his second PGA TOUR victory and first since the 2010 Open Championship, Louis Oosthuizen shot 6-under 66 to hold a share of the 36-hole lead at THE PLAYERS Championship. This is Oosthuizen’s seventh appearance at THE PLAYERS with his best finish, T19, coming in 2013.
This is Oosthuizen’s second career 36-hole lead/co-lead on the PGA TOUR and first since his dominant performance at St. Andrews at the 2010 Open Championship, where he went on to win by seven strokes.
For the week, Oosthuizen only has one bogey, coming on the eighth hole of his first round. No player has ever played all four rounds at THE PLAYERS bogey free. 1994 champion Greg Norman came the closest with only one bogey (13th hole, final round).
With rounds of 69-66, Oosthuizen recorded consecutive rounds in the 60s for the first time in his 20th round at THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass.
A win at THE PLAYERS would make Oosthuizen the 10th champion who has also won The Open Championship. Among that group, he would join Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods as those who claimed victories at St. Andrews.
Playing in his 10th event this season, Oosthuizen has yet to miss a cut with his best finish, a solo third, coming at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, where he shot 65 in the final round. The last time Oosthuizen missed a cut on the PGA TOUR was last year’s Open Championship, a current streak of 15 consecutive made cuts.
At No. 7 in the International Presidents Cup standings, Oosthuizen is in position for his third consecutive appearance in the Presidents Cup, where the South African owns an overall record of 5-3-2.
Kyle Stanley
Kyle Stanley closed with birdies on Nos. 7 and 9 to finish with a 66 and tie for the lead at 9-under overall. Stanley is making his fourth start in THE PLAYERS, where has made three of four cuts. His best finish came in 2013 (T33).
This is Stanley’s third 36-hole lead/co-lead on the PGA TOUR and first since the 2012 Farmers Insurance Open, where he finished solo second. He also held the solo lead at the 2011 Honda Classic before settling for a T24 finish.
Despite only hitting six of 14 fairways in the second round, Stanley hit 14 of 18 greens and ranked first in Strokes Gained: Approach the Green for round two.
The 29-year-old Washington state native and Clemson product entered the final event of the 2015-16 season at No. 127 in the FedExCup standings. He posted four rounds in the 60s at the Wyndham Championship to finish T14, move to No. 116 in the standings and advance to the FedExCup Playoffs, earning him a spot in THE PLAYERS field.
Stanley is in search of his second career PGA TOUR victory and first since the 2012 Waste Management Phoenix Open. His best finish in 14 starts this season is a T7 at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, his first top-10 finish on the PGA TOUR since a T8 at the 2014 Barracuda Championship.
Second-Round Lead Notes
Twelve of 43 second-round leaders/co-leaders have gone on to win THE PLAYERS Championship, including Jason Day in 2016.
Thirteen of the 25 second-round leaders/co-leaders on the PGA TOUR this season have been able to convert for the win in stroke-play events, most recently Sergio Garcia at the Masters Tournament.
J.B. Holmes
After five birdies and no bogeys through 16 holes in round two, J.B. Holmes finished with bogeys on Nos. 8 and 9 to card a 3-under 69 to sit solo third after 36 holes.
Holmes is playing in his 11th PLAYERS Championship. The four-time PGA TOUR winner enjoyed a solid streak from 2007-2011 where he only finished outside of the top 20 once. Since then, he has three missed cuts and a T51 leading into this week.
Holmes previously led THE PLAYERS after 18 holes in 2010 when he opened with a 6-under 66, his lowest score in 33 rounds at TPC Sawgrass. He went on to finish T13 that year.
Holmes’ one top-10 finish this season came at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, a T5 with partner Bubba Watson.
Vijay Singh
Vijay Singh’s 4-under 68 was nearly flawless until a bogey at the 18th dropped him to 6-under for the tournament and into fourth place. Singh, who was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2006, is making his 24th start in THE PLAYERS, highlighted by four top 10s. His top finish was a solo second to Tiger Woods in 2001.
Singh entered this week on the heels of his first PGA TOUR Champions victory in 13 starts and first of the season at the Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf at Big Cedar Lodge with teammate Carlos Franco. Singh currently sits at No. 20 in the Charles Schwab Cup standings. Singh is one of four PGA TOUR Champions players in THE PLAYERS field (Jerry Kelly/CUT, Bernhard Langer/CUT, and Steve Stricker/T23), breaking the previous record of three.
Should Singh win this week, he would become the oldest player to win a PGA TOUR event at 54 years, 2 months, surpassing Sam Snead, who won the 1965 Greater Greensboro Open at 52 years, 10 months, 8 days. Singh would also join Raymond Floyd, Craig Stadler and Fred Funk as players to win on the PGA TOUR and PGA TOUR Champions in the same season. At THE PLAYERS, Singh would supplant 2005 champion Fred Funk (48 years, 9 months, 14 days) as the oldest to win.
Singh has made only two cuts in 11 starts on the PGA TOUR this season, with his best finish a T33 at the CIMB Classic.
Additional Player Notes
Smylie Kaufman overcame a first-round 74 with a 5-under 67 and the only bogey-free round in the morning wave of round two to sit T16. Prior to last week’s T5 finish at the Wells Fargo Championship, his first top-5 finish since his win at the 2015 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, Kaufman had missed nine cuts in 13 starts on the season and finished no higher than T37. The Birmingham, Ala., native and LSU product missed the cut in his first start at THE PLAYERS in 2016.
First-round co-leader Mackenzie Hughes birdied Nos. 11 and 12 to begin his round but played his remaining 15 holes in 5-over to drop back to T23 at 2-under overall.
At 4-over 148, Jordan Spieth missed his third-consecutive cut at THE PLAYERS after finishing T4 in his debut in 2014.
After scores of 70-72, defending champion Jason Day sits T23 at 2-under. No player has successfully defended his PLAYERS Championship title. The last PLAYERS champion to post a top-10 finish while attempting to defend was 2004 champion Adam Scott (T8).
FedExCup standings leader Dustin Johnson followed up his first-round 71 with a one-over 73. Johnson has hit only half of his fairways and has needed 31 and 29 putts, respectively, in the first two rounds.
Sweden’s Alex Noren shot a 1-under 71 and sits in a tie for fifth at 5-under. Noren, who is No. 13 in the Official World Golf Ranking, is not a member of the PGA TOUR. At No. 9 in the Non-Member FedExCup standings, Noren has 206 points and needs to finish a tie for fifth or higher to earn at least 113 points as he attempts to earn Special Temporary Membership on the PGA TOUR. Noren has eight career international victories, four of which came in 2016.
Spain’s Rafa Cabrera Bello and Canada’s David Hearn are tied at 5-under in fifth place. Should Cabrera Bello or Hearn win this week, they would join Craig Perks (2002) and Tim Clark (2010) as the only players to make THE PLAYERS their first PGA TOUR victory.
In his first start at THE PLAYERS, Patrick Cantlay followed an opening round 3-under 69 with a 2-under 70 to sit within four strokes of the lead. Cantlay began the season playing on a major medical extension but satisfied the requirements of that extension with a solo second-place finish at the Valspar Championship in March and earned a spot in THE PLAYERS field. Through five events this season, Cantlay has posted three top-25 finishes.
Morgan Stanley will make a donation of $5,000 to Ronald McDonald House Family Room at Wolfson’s Children’s Hospital for every eagle made at THE PLAYERS Championship (ThursdaySunday). Through the first round, 12 eagles were made totaling $60,000.
Eight Jacksonville residents are in the field this week and seeking to join three who have already claimed THE PLAYERS Championship title – Mark McCumber (1988), David Duval (1999) and Fred Funk (2005).
Jacksonville residents leaderboard:
Player                                      R2 score           R2 standing
David Lingmerth                       75                     T43
Vijay Singh                               68                     4
Cameron Smith                         77                     CUT
Jim Furyk                                 74                     CUT
Matt Every                                78                     CUT
Billy Horschel                            76                     CUT
Russell Knox                            72                     CUT
Jonas Blixt                                72                     CUT
For the third year, Billy Horschel has pledged to raise funds during THE PLAYERS Championship to help #DriveOutHunger and support Feeding Northeast Florida Food Bank. Horschel will donate $1,000 for every birdie he makes and $5,000 for every eagle he makes at the tournament. In the second round, Horschel made five birdies, bringing his total to $9,000.
Lake City native Blayne Barber (70-76, T66) is playing in his first PLAYERS Championship but has a unique history at THE PLAYERS Stadium Course. Barber grew up attending THE PLAYERS as a kid and won the 2009 Florida State Amateur on the Stadium Course. Barber’s mother, Terri, is also a volunteer at this year’s PLAYERS and is taking part in the PGA TOUR’s Volunteer Challenge, a competition amongst volunteers at tournaments nationwide to raise money for local charities. From now until 2 p.m. ET on May 13, people can vote at www.tourchallenge.com. The volunteer team with the most votes will present a $10,000 check on behalf of Astellas Pharma US, Inc., to its chosen charity. Terri Barber (Team Barbershop) is currently in 3rd place and has chosen The First Tee of North Florida as her primary charity.
Morgan Stanley will make a donation of $5,000 to Ronald McDonald House Family Room at Wolfson’s Children’s Hospital for every eagle made at THE PLAYERS Championship (ThursdaySunday). Through the second round, 24 eagles were made totaling $120,000.
Danny Willett (back) withdrew after nine holes.
Past Champions
Nine players who have won THE PLAYERS are participating this week. Here’s a look at where they stand through 36 holes:
Player                                    Year Won                  R2 Score                R2 Standing
Jason Day                             2016                          72                         T23
Rickie Fowler                         2015                          74                          T43
Martin Kaymer                       2014                          72                          T43
Matt Kuchar                           2012                          71                          T43
K.J. Choi                                2011                          75                          CUT
Henrik Stenson                      2009                          70                          T23
Sergio Garcia                         2008                          71                          T43
Phil Mickelson                        2007                          72                          T23
Adam Scott                            2004                          72                          T23
Miscellaneous Notes
Bogey-free rounds
R1 – Alex Noren (68), Mackenzie Hughes (67), Jon Rahm (68), Lee Westwood (70).
R2 – Smylie Kaufman (67), Louis Oosthuizen (66),
Thirty-nine players went for the green (hit 3-wood or driver) on the par-4 12th hole in round two compared to 26 in round one. Nine players hit the green on Friday, with Luke List making the first eagle on the new 12th hole from 14 feet, 9 inches.
Scott Piercy recorded the first-ever quintuple bogey-9 on the par-4 fifth hole on Friday morning.
There were 29 balls in the water at the par-3 17th hole Friday, the most ever in a second round since 2003. Here’s a list of balls in the water on the 17th hole:
Round 1
Round 2
Round 3
Round 4
6 (in regulation)
16 (in regulation)
Scoring Averages at the par-72 TPC Sawgrass:
                        Front 9             Back 9             Total                Cumulative           
Thursday          36.764              36.056              72.819              —
Friday               36.371              36.811              73.182              73.001
Early Scoring Average:              72.71
Afternoon Scoring Average:       73.14
There were 21 sub-par rounds in the afternoon wave, compared to 20 in the morning.
Second-round scoring average since 2004
Year                    Avg.                 Sub-par               Sub-70
2017                    73.182              42                       17
2016                    71.014              81                       40
2015                    72.385              58                       22
2014                    71.993              65                       26
2013                    72.007              64                       28
2012                    72.373              56                       22
2011                    72.222              60                       31
2010                    71.103              76                       37
2009                    72.379              51                       25
2008                    74.478              23                       2
2007                    73.387              41                       11
2006                    73.308              46                       15
2005                    71.364              83                       37
2004                    73.548              45                       16