PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Playing in one of the first groups off Saturday morning, Louis Oosthuizen made an impressive move up the leaderboard thanks to a 5-under 67 that included a stretch of six birdies in a row.
The streak tied the record for most consecutive birdies at The Players, a distinction shared by six other players and most recently matched by Tim Herron in 2005.
After making the cut on the number Friday night, Oosthuizen was 1 over through his first eight holes Saturday. The former British Open champion began his run by getting up-and-down for birdie at the par-5 ninth, then holed birdie putts from inside seven feet on holes 10-13. The South African tied the record in style, making a 55-foot putt for birdie at the difficult par-4 14th.
Beginning the day in a tie for 63rd, Oosthuizen was tied for 20th after signing for his round, a 67 that marked his lowest career score at TPC Sawgrass. It was just the second time he’s been able to break 70 at the Stadium Course, having missed the cut here in both 2011 and 2012.
A runner up at the Masters a year ago, Oosthuizen might find himself in contention this week if not for the 18th hole on Friday. There he took a quadruple bogey 8, hitting each of his first two shots into the water left of the fairway, en route to a 3-over 75. While the blemish nearly meant the difference between making and missing the cut, it now looms as potentially the only thing keeping the South African from a place near the lead as the third round gets underway in earnest.