By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Four players had threatened THE PLAYERS Championship record for consecutive birdies in the first two rounds, and Louis Oosthuizen finally tied it on Saturday.
Oosthuizen made six straight starting at the ninth hole to become the seventh player to accomplish the feat. The South African joins Tom Watson (1984), Dave Rummells (1986), Fred Wadsworth (1987), Paul Azinger (1993), Rocco Mediate (1996) and Tim Herron (2005).
Oosthuizen's first birdie came from 3 feet when he got up and down from a greenside bunker at the par-5 ninth. He made a 4-footer at the 10th hole, chipped to 5 feet from just off the green at the par-5 11th, then rolled in putts of 5, 6 and 56 feet to cap the streak
Oosthuizen, who finished with a 67 and stands 5 under, had an 11-footer at the 15th hole to set the record -- although he didn't realize it at the time.
"I do now, and now that putt is in my head," said Oosthuizen, who made also seven straight at the Deutsche Bank Championshio last year.
Sergio Garcia, Brandt Snedeker, Ryan Palmer and Scott Stallings are the players who made five consecutive birdies. Garcia's came on Friday while the other three made theirs in the first round.
Interestingly, Oosthuizen says he's been battling his putter lately. He had 29 in a first-round 69 and 31 on Friday when he shot 75.
"I'm struggling to find consistency in the putter," the former British Open champ said. "I'm either making them or putting horribly, which is pretty frustrating."
Oosthuizen and his wife Nel-Mare are expecting their third child any minute now. He's scheduled to play the two upcoming events in Texas, as well as the Memorial Tournament.
"Definitely want to play Memorial, but if the little one comes earlier, then I won't, Oosthuizen said.