Weather delays in second round of The Players Championship

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — A Korn Ferry Tour event has broken out at The Players Championship this week.

Entering the weekend, the leaderboard at TPC Sawgrass doesn’t exactly scream “elevated event’’ with a $25 million purse.

When second-round play was suspended at 4:25 p.m. Friday because of dangerous weather, Christiaan Bezuidenhout and Adam Svensson shared the lead at 8-under. Bezuidenhout was through 14 holes of his second round and Svensson was through 11 holes.

Second-round play is scheduled to resume at 7 a.m. on Saturday and, once that’s completed, the third round will begin.

The leader in the clubhouse is Ben Griffin, who like Svensson is a first-timer at this tournament. Griffin was at 6-under after shooting 71 on Friday. Also at 6-under were Min Woo Lee, who was through 15 holes of his second round, and Collin Morikawa, who was through 11 holes.

Scottie Scheffler, the No. 2-ranked player in the world was 5-under and had eight holes to play to finish his second round. So, too, is Canadian Taylor Pendrith, who finished his second round.

Christiaan Bezuidenhout
Christiaan Bezuidenhout

Among the players who are 4-under and finished with their second rounds are Jason Day, Viktor Hovland and Will Gordon.

The weather is expected to clear for Saturday and Sunday, so there doesn’t appear to be any threat of more delays.

“We feel very confident that between them playing the remaining round and the scoring that they need to do at the end, we should be done [with the second round] approximately about 10:10 a.m.,’’ Gary Young, the chief referee for the tournament, said. “That gives us enough time to re-pair. We’ll be going off two tees playing in threesomes at approximately 10:40 to 12:40 [for the third round].’’

It was a trying day for the players with afternoon tee times.

“Sometimes when you’re playing well you hope these delays don’t happen, especially when the weather was just kind of … no wind, it was perfect conditions,’’ Morikawa said. “But at times like this when the putts aren’t dropping, you’re kind of excited for a little rain delay, a little rest, and get back out here.’’

Scheffler said patience is a key.

“It was playing pretty challenging when we started out with the high winds and the greens were getting really firm,’’ he said. “I did a good job of staying patient. I wasn’t swinging my best, but I made two nice birdies toward the end of the round and then obviously the delay will hurt a little, but start back up in the morning.”

Svensson sounded as if he’s having the time of his life.

“I’m hitting a lot of fairways, a lot of greens, putting well, just playing safe, playing aggressive when I can,’’ he said. “It’s super-relaxed and calm. I just feel like I belong here.’’

Day, a former No. 1 ranked player, is seeking his first win in four years.

“Actually, I wasn’t quite happy with how I was hitting it over the last few tournaments, but did a really good job of leaving myself in the correct positions and then getting up-and-down, and my putter has improved drastically since the last two years,’’ he said. “They were all positives because obviously I’m losing strokes to the field last week at Bay Hill approach to the green and finished inside of top 10. So if I can tidy that stuff up and still keep the putting the way it is, I’m not going to be too far away.”