Oosthuizen, Stanley lead Players at halfway mark

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Two tournaments-within-the-tournament broke out on Friday at TPC Sawgrass: one to take the halfway lead in The Players Championship and one to simply make the cut. Here's how things shook out in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.:

Leaderboard: Louis Oosthuizen (-9), Kyle Stanley (-9), J.B. Holmes (-7), Vijay Singh (-6), Alex Noren (-6)

What it means: Oosthuizen, a 34-year-old South African, has one major to his credit - the 2010 Open Championship - and has been runner-up in three other majors. Stanley has one PGA Tour win to his credit - the 2012 Waste Management Phoenix Open, where he came from eight shots behind on the final day. His comeback was especially poignant given that he had blown a seven-shot lead the previous week at Torrey Pines.

Round of the day: Oosthuizen's six-birdie, no-bogey round was a study in consistency as he birdied two par 3s, two par 4s and two par 5s. In contrast, Stanley parred only two holes in his first nine (like Oosthuizen, he started on the back), making five birdies and two bogeys, then settled down with three more birdies on his second nine.

Best of the rest: Smylie Kaufman shot a 67 that vaulted him 65 places up the leaderboard to a tie for 18th.

Biggest disappointment: Jordan Spieth shot 75 and missed his third consecutive Players Championship cut. Also headed home, among others, are Jim Furyk, Bubba Watson and Luke Donald.

Shot of the day: Oosthuizen was in the trees on his first shot on his 10th hole of the day (No. 1). No worries - he simply knocked the ball on the green and made the birdie putt to take the lead.

Main storyline heading into the weekend: Perhaps the most intrigung name on the leaderboard is that of Singh, the former world No. 1 who lives at TPC Sawgrass and knows the course inside and out - but is also 54. Oosthuizen's fluid swing earns him a ton of respect from his peers, and maybe it's time he breaks through and finally wins on U.S. soil. There are also some big names on the fringes of contention - Jason Day and Phil Mickelson are both seven shots back. Come Saturday night, we'll know whether they're going to be final-round factors.