The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - DOUG FERGUSON

Max Do­bie of R.A. Rid­dell Ele­men­tary School hits onto the green of his sec­ond-last hole of the nine-hole Hamil­ton-Went­worth District School Board Mid­dle School Cham­pi­onship at Flam­bor­ough Hills Golf and Coun­try Club in Copetown. Forty-nine play­ers ages 11-13 from five Hamil­ton mid­dle schools par­tic­i­pated in the tour­na­ment. Ethan Irvine and Brie Allen, both from An­caster Se­nior Pub­lic School, were the boys and girls win­ners. The tour­na­ment’s first win­ner, in 2004, was Macken­zie Hughes. Hughes is com­pet­ing in this weekend’s Play­ers Cham­pi­onship. For more on his sec­ond round,

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FLA. — As con­di­tions tough­ened, Louis Oosthuizen and Kyle Stan­ley played even bet­ter. Each posted a 6-un­der 66 to share the lead at The Play­ers Cham­pi­onship, mak­ing it even more dif­fi­cult for the top two play­ers in the world to catch them.

Oosthuizen and his sweet swing were a good fit in any con­di­tions at the TPC Saw­grass, and he man­aged to play bo­gey-free and fin­ish with a birdie on the par-5 ninth. Stan­ley had eight birdies as the wind in­creased and the firm putting sur­faces be­came crusty.

They were at 9-un­der 135, two shots ahead of J.B. Holmes, who fell out of a tie with bo­geys on his last two holes for a 69.

David Hearn of Brant­ford is the top Cana­dian through two rounds. He shot a 69 and is 5 un­der.

Macken­zie Hughes of Dun­das be­gan the day as the co-leader with Wil­liam McGirt at 5 un­der, but shot a 3-over 75 and fell to 2 un­der. Adam Had­win of Ab­bots­ford, B.C., shot 72 and is 1 un­der while Graham DeLaet of Wey­burn, Sask., missed the cut with back-to­back 74s.

Dustin John­son and Rory McIl­roy scrapped it around Fri­day morn­ing, John­son mak­ing only one birdie for a 73 and McIl­roy man­ag­ing through nag­ging back pain for a 71. They were at even par and not too both­ered. They were only five be­hind when they fin­ished, and they could sense that be­cause of steamy weather and sway­ing pines that no­body was go­ing to get too far away from him.

“I def­i­nitely feel like I got the most that I could have out of that round,” Stan­ley said.

John­son and McIl­roy at least are still in the game.

Jor­dan Spi­eth was headed home af­ter miss­ing the cut for the third straight year, yet he didn’t sound ter­ri­bly up­set. He chalked that up to not be­ing able to han­dle this strand of grass when it gets firm and crusty. Spi­eth’s last hope ended with a tee shot that bounced at the back of the is­land-green 17th and into the wa­ter.

Equally sur­pris­ing was Vi­jay Singh, the 54year-old Fi­jian who was mak­ing putts from ev­ery­where un­til a three-putt bo­gey on the 18th. He still shot 68 and goes into the weekend only three shots out of the lead.



Ethan Irvine hits an ap­proach shot Fri­day at Flam­bor­ough Hills Golf and Coun­try Club in Copetown.


Macken­zie Hughes of Dun­das plays his shot from the 11th tee dur­ing the sec­ond round of The Play­ers Cham­pi­onship on Fri­day.

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