The only things that slowed Jason Day were weather and darkness.
Day, who opened the Players Championship with a course-record-tying 9-under-par 63, was three strokes ahead and chasing fellow Aussie Greg Norman’s 36-hole scoring mark
when the end came early Friday night on the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
Following a weather delay of more than two hours that included light rain, Day was 5-under for the round after 14 holes and 14-under for the tournament with a three-stroke lead over Shane Lowry of Ireland when darkness halted the second round.
Day played his first 32 holes without a bogey and is within reach of Norman’s 36-hole record of 14-under 130.
“It’s not fun starting and stopping,” said Day, the No. 1 player in the world who has won six of his last 16 tournaments world-wide. “I was sharp coming out this morning and made some good saves, too.
“It’s unfortunate that we had the weather come in, but it seems we’re going to have good weather for the weekend. … I feel good about my game, and I’m going to come out tomorrow and try to extend my lead.”
Lowry started on the back nine and holed his second shot from 120 yards on the 18th hole en route to a 68 after opening with a 65.
Cameron Tringale of Laguna Niguel birdied his last hole for a 69 and was four shots back in a tie for third with Jonas Blixt of Sweden and Alex Cejka of Germany, who both shot 67 for the second straight day.
Colt Knost missed a five-foot par putt on the final hole that would have given him the course record, but settled for a 63 that tied the mark and was another stroke down in a tie for sixth with Boo Weekley (69), Jerry Kelly (68), Francesco Molinari (69) of Italy and Gary Woodland (68).
“I hit a good putt on the left edge, but it just lipped out,” Knost said.
Russell Knox of Scotland was in that tie for sixth at 9-under for the tournament and 5-under for the round after 15 holes when darkness came.
Third-ranked Rory McIlroy bounced back with a 64 and was one more shot behind in a tie for 12th that included Zach Johnson, the Open champion, who totaled 69, and Brooks Koepka, who had a 70.
Adam Scott, the 2004 Players champion, recorded a 65 and was in a tie for 22nd that included Sergio Garcia of Spain, the 2008 champion, who shot 66, and Matt Kuchar, the 2012 champion, who came in at 67.
Defending champion Rickie Fowler shot 71 and was one stroke on the wrong side of the cut-line in a tie for 75th that included Phil Mickelson, the 2007 players champion, who had two holes remaining, and second-ranked Jordan Spieth, who had four holes left.
Knost and Kevin Chappell of Fresno and UCLA, who was tied for 22nd after a 67, tied the nine-hole course record of 29.