Bezuidenhout, Svensson Share Lead in Rain-Delayed Players Championship

The weather was the real winner on this day.

Christiaan Bezuidenhout of South Africa and Adam Svensson (pictured) of Canada were tied for the lead when rain and lightning the halted play during the second round of the 49th Players Championship on the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., with much of the field still on the course.

The 71 golfers who were not finished will return on Saturday morning to complete round two before the cut is made and the third round begins. Tournament officials expect to be back on track by the end of the day because there is no rain in the forecast.

One player who won’t be there is top-ranked Jon Rahm of Spain, who withdrew before the start of the second round because of an illness.

Bezuidenhout was eight-under-par through 14 holes and will be teeing off on No. 7 as he finishes on the back nine, while Svensson was eight-under through 11 after making birdie putts on his last two holes to tie for the lead.

“I mean, it’s everything (to be on top of the leaderboard),” said Svensson, who claimed his only PGA Tour victory in the 2022 RSM Classic. “I feel good. I’ve been playing pretty solid. I haven’t made very many bogeys. I’m just super relaxed and enjoying the golf course. I just feel like I belong here.

“I’ve done a lot of 36-hole qualifiers, and you just get mentally drained. So, I’ve just got to get some good rest tonight and stay focused and just keep enjoying myself because I’m having a lot of fun.”

Svensson, who also has won three times on the Korn Ferry Tour, is bogey-free through 10 holes after opening with a 68. Both leaders made only one bogey apiece in the first two days.

Bezuidenhout, who has won 10 times around the world but is seeking his first victory on the PGA Tour, also was bogey-free through his 14 holes and also started on the back nine after he highlighted his first-round 68 at No. 11.

“I’ve only got four holes left, so that’s fine for us, but yeah, I’m lucky that I can go home and get ready for tomorrow,” said Bezuidenhout, who has won three times on the DP World Tour and four times on the Sunshine Tour in South Africa.

“Early on in the round, I knew it was going to be tough, but the back nine has got some quality holes, and that’s the key around here. You have to keep the ball in the short stuff, which I did. I was hitting a lot of greens and have putted well over the last couple days.”

Second-ranked Scottie Scheffler was one-under for the day through 10 holes and six-under for the tournament after also starting with a 68 and was two strokes behind in a tie for third with 10th-ranked Collin Morikawa of La Canada Flintridge and Cal, who was one-over through 11 after opening with a 65; Taylor Pendrith of Canada, who was even through 15 after starting with a 67; Ben Griffin, who followed a 67 with a 71, and Min Woo Lee of South Korea, who was two-under through 15 after a 68.

Chad Ramey, the first-round leader at 64, held a three-shot cushion before he hit two balls into the water on the famed par-3 17th hole with the island green, and he carded a quadruple-bogey 7 while slipping to four-under for the tournament through 10 holes.

That put Ramey four shots back in a tie for eighth with Will Gordon, who opened with 73-67; 2016 Players champion Jason Day of Australia, who is at 70-70; Viktor Hovland of Norway, has started 69-71; Byeong Hun An of South Korea, who is three-under through 13 holes following a 71; Adam Hadwin of Canada, who is three-under through eight after another 71, and Denny McCarthy, who is even through 14 following a 68.

Fourth-ranked Patrick Cantlay of Los Alamitos and UCLA is tied for 33rd at 1-under through 11 following a 71; seventh-ranked Max Homa of Valencia and Cal is tied for 39th at 72-72; sixth-ranked Xander Schauffele of La Jolla and San Diego State totaled 72-73 and is in a tie for 53rd that includes eighth-ranked Will Zalatoris, who is at 74-71; ninth-ranked Justin Thomas is tied for 68th at 73-73, and third-ranked Rory McIlroy is two-over through 10 following a 76 and is tied for 112th at six-over for the tournament.

For complete results, visit https://www.pgatour.com/leaderboard

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