PGA: Oosthuizen, Stanley share lead at Players Championship

Oosthuizen, Stanley share lead at Players Championship

The only bogey J.B. Holmes made Saturday could have been a lot worse, and he pieced together a 2-under 70 in strong wind on a punishing course to share the lead with Kyle Stanley going into the final round of The Players Championship.

The 66s of Louis Oosthuizen and Kyle Stanley were exceptional rounds on a hot, breezy afternoon when the course became firmer and the water grabbed balls galore at the treacherous 17th.

The 41-year-old only played 13 tournaments last season because of a foot injury and slipped to 197th in the world.

Stanley and J.B. Holmes (70) were at 9-under 207.

Yet perhaps the most surprising performance of them all was turned in by one of the game's best, Jordan Spieth. Fellow Englishman Paul Casey is one shot further back. Sweden's Alex Noren shot a 1-under 71 and sits in a tie for fifth at 5-under.

And if the final round is anything like Saturday, it can all change so quickly. He still shot 68 and goes into the weekend only three shots out of the lead.

Of the 82 players in the field, 49 made a double bogey or worse.

He was at 6 under with Emiliano Grillo. "And then today, it was pretty gusty all day, so I thought it played pretty hard all 18 today". "I think anybody who makes the cut has a really good shot". "We've seen over the years great finishes around this golf course and disgusting finishes", he added. "That's just what we play for, is trying to win in majors and world events and big events like the Players. You need to hit the ball well and. try not to do anything heroic when you have the lead".

Holmes only hit five of the course's 14 fairways but needed just 25 putts. He let it rip, and it flew into the left bunker. His round was the only one of the day without a bogey, and his streak of holes without dropping a shot is now at 28.

From the pine straw left of the 15th fairway, he managed to get it on the green and lagged beautifully from almost 60 feet. They're both free-wheelers with serious distance off the tee, but both kept themselves under enough control to shoot 66 to finish at 9-under-par 135.

"I've been playing well for a while now", Oosthuizen told reporters.

So many others wish they could have done the same. 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. Johnson shot 40 on the back nine for a 74 and was 11 shots out.

"Sometimes there's no bail-out area, there's no safe place, so it can certainly make you feel uncomfortable", said Adam Scott, who finished five shots back at 5 under.

The large group on level par includes a host of star names and former Players champions, while the likes of McIlroy, Garcia, Johnson, Martin Kaymer and Rickie Fowler all hoping to mount an early charge on moving day.

"This is a really tough golf course".

"There's nothing. very few good things coming out of today, so nothing else I can do", Rahim said. "It doesn't matter who you are".

The Englishman is looking to capitalise on retaining his PGA Tour card after a discrepancy was spotted in the points structure used for players competing on medical extensions.

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