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PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Chad Ramey becomes the only player to ever hit a double digit in the Players Championship. TPC Sawgrass, as usual, had the final say.
A shooter put two shots on the tee into the water on the island’s 17th hole green on Friday for a five-game bogey that cost him a three-shot lead on a day of wild swings and, ultimately, rough weather.
The second round was suspended with half the court unable to finish the round due to the storm system expected to drop half an inch of rain on the players’ home field.
Kristian Bezuidenhout of South Africa and Adam Svensson of Canada share the lead at minus eight points, and both are doing what it takes to stay ahead of the tournament. They didn’t make a bogey on Friday – Bezuidenhout through 14, Svensson through 11 – and they only have one for the week.
Ben Griffin was the leader of the club. The former mortgage loan officer, who actually had a close call in Bermuda late last year, had been playing a stellar run until taking a double bogey on his final hole of 1-71.
Griffin was the 6-under 138. Colin Morikawa was the two-under 6-under 11-hole major champion, while Min-Woo Lee was the 6-under 6-under with three holes left in his round.
“It’s a kind of happiness, the rain and thunder have come late, let the racket rest a bit and hopefully it will come out hot tomorrow,” Morikawa said.
The players were due to return at 7 am on Saturday to finish the second round. Round three is a schedule for threes from both tees and should be able to finish before sunset. This depends on the pace of play, and some of that is Sawgrass based.
John Rahm missed all of this. The world No. 1 player had a stomach bug and pulled out about 30 minutes before tee time. This jeopardizes his ranking, as he could be overtaken by Scotty Scheffler and Rory McIlroy.
Credit goes to Scheffler, who looked shaky early and settled into his run. He drilled the last two holes the day before the hang – Nos. 9 and 10 – to reach 5 under. He has a 15-foot putt putt on the 16th hole when play resumes.
Meanwhile, McIlroy took a double bogey on the 6th hole and was par-6 for the championship. He had eight holes to try to shave off the 4 strokes likely needed to make the cut.
Ram made all the cut last year, and he last missed out on the PGA Tour at Fortinet in September 2021, just before the Ryder Cup.
The cycle carried out some brutal punishments in the second round.
Start with Max McGreevy, who was 20 shots worse than his opening round. He shot 89, tying the wrong kind of track record as the highest score ever recorded at TPC Sawgrass. The other player to shoot 89 was Michael Campbell in the first round in 2003.
Victor Hovland was 5 for his par through the 11 holes and even got a break when his tee bounced on the par 3 17 of the island’s wooden frame and onto the green. But then he got into trouble over his last seven holes and had to settle for 71.
Hovland was four-and-under 140 with Will Gordon (67) and Jason Day (70), a former world number one slowly working his way back up. Day started the year at No. 112 in the world, and he can take a big step this week in ensuring he stays in the top 50 for the next couple of weeks to join the Masters.
As for Jordan Spieth, he saw his tee in the air on his final hole on the par 5-ninth and thought it was time to clean out his locker. But instead of going into the water—normally water was not available yet—he bumped the spectator in the leg and bounced back into the fairway. Spieth hit a 3-wood to Green Collar and slotted in for an eagle.
This allowed him to save 75, and it was safe to make the cut.
“I got a very lucky break in the 9 or I won’t play weekend,” said Spieth. Out here because it hit him.”
Ramy opened with a 64 on Thursday and smashed two of his three holes to reach 10-under, extending his lead to 3 strokes. After his five-bogey on the 17th, he had to putt a 30-foot putt to save par on the 18th, then dropped another shot on the first with a wild motion to the right. He was a 4-year-old with eight holes on his round.
“Total coffee junkie. Tv ninja. Unapologetic problem solver. Beer expert.”
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