Louis Oosthuizen, of South Africa, reacts after missing a putt on the 16th green during the third round of The Players Championship golf tournament Saturday, May 13, 2017, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. "I'm playing well and I'm excited about it", Singh said.
Jon Rahm, of Spain, hits from the sand on the seventh hole during the second round of The Players Championship golf tournament Friday, May 12, 2017, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. If Vijay Singh wins this week, he would become the oldest player to do so on the PGA Tour at 54 years, 2 months.
Oosthuizen's time as outright leader in the clubhouse was brief as Stanley, playing in the group behind, birdied two of his last three holes to also return a 66 featuring eight birdies including three in a row from the 15th.
Numerous big names have work to do, defending champion Jason Day trailing by seven shots, with Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia and Rory McIlroy nine behind.
Louis Oosthuizen tries to avoid thinking about why he is yet to win in the United States as he looks to end the wait at the Players Championship.
Fiji's three-time major victor Vijay Singh rolled back the years to card a 68 and that performance moved him up to fourth. At 4-over 148, Jordan Spieth missed his third-consecutive cut after finishing fourth in his debut in 2014.
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He's also averaging over 10 assists per game, although he was held to a playoff low four assists in Game 5 on Wednesday. He continued to stay aggressive and drive to the basket, but for the most part was unable to get around his defender.
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Oosthuizen defied the tough Stadium Course to complete 36 holes with just a single bogey on his scorecard, and the former Open champion is perfectly placed to challenge for his first victory in the United States as he goes into the weekend on nine under par. Phil Mickelson shot a 78.
"And then going into this year, I've just tried to do everything that I can control, preparation-wise, off the golf course, and stuff like that".
Holmes fired a 70 that featured three birdies (including on No. 17) and one bogey.
World number 84 Lahiri hooked three balls into the water hazard that lines the left side of the par-four hole, running up a sextuple-bogey 10. "You need to keep it in the fairway, and I think by tomorrow the greens are going to be nice and firm". Spieth's last hope ended with a tee shot that bounced at the back of the island-green 17th and into the water. "The wind picked up on the back nine, so I thought it played more hard than the front", said Stanley.
But the front produced wind that sent the scoring average up almost a full stroke from the second round to 74.037, and it also will result in a turn from southwest wind to northeast for the final round, which will give players a breeze normally associated with the former March date.
Meanwhile, spare a thought for Indian Anirban Lahiri, who came within a stroke of carding the highest score at the 18th hole in Players Championship history on Friday. Sweden's Alex Noren shot a 1-under 71 and sits in a tie for fifth at 5-under. He let his putter do the work the rest of the way, holing 20-foot birdie putts on the fifth and ninth holes to share the lead. "It doesn't matter who you are". He took some time off in late 2015 ("I needed it", he said) and received a sponsor exemption to a Web.com Tour event (Rex Hospital) in North Carolina. That was Si Woo Kim, who didn't make a bogey until the 16th hole and shot a 68 to get within two shots.