Garnett Ties Fleetwood, Hoge for Lead in Rainy 48th Players Championship

Brice Garnett tied Tommy Fleetwood and Tom Hoge for the lead in the 48th Players Championship, but the first round still is not complete after two rainy days. 

The 38-year-old Garnett (pictured), whose only PGA Tour victory came in the 2018 Punta Cana Resort and Club Championship, was at 6-under par after 13 holes when play was called one day after Fleetwood and Hoge shot 66 on the Stadium Course at soggy TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra, Fla. 

The Players probably is headed for its first Monday finish since Fred Funk won in 2005 at the age of 48. 

Garnett was simply trying to finish the day in good shape before the horn sounded when he wedged his 96-yard wedge shot into the hole at No. 4 for a walk-off eagle after collecting four birdies in a bogey-free back nine after starting at No. 10. 

“We were just trying to stay in the moment and not get too ahead of ourselves with all the rain,” said Garnett, who has six victories as a pro, including two on the Korn Ferry Tour. “It was something exciting and you kind of wish you would keep playing and keep the momentum going, but the course is unplayable. So, we we’re happy to come in. I knew it would be a long day. 

“Just from watching the coverage yesterday, I noticed how much the ball was spinning. I think we had about 96 yards (at No. 4), and we just took a bunch of spin and speed off of a sand wedge. I actually thought it missed. So, I was like I can’t believe—it was lined up perfect, and I was like I can’t believe that I just missed that. 

“I looked back up, and the ball disappeared. It was a great surprise. It’s been a while since I’ve done that. It was a great moment for us.” 

Kramer Hickock birdied two of the last three holes for a bogey-free 67 and is tied for fourth with Joaquin Niemann of Chile, who birdied his last holes, Keith Mitchell, who had his one bogey on the last hole, Anirban Lahiri of India, who eagled No. 6, and Daniel Berger, who birdied four of the first six holes on the back nine and was 5-under through 16 holes. 

Brian Harman, Sam Burns, Abraham Ancer of Mexico, Taylor Pendrith of Canada and Kevin Kisner were in a big tie for ninth after all shooting 68. 

Also in the tie for ninth were fifth-ranked Scottie Scheffler, who was a bogey-free 4-under through 15 holes, ninth-ranked Dustin Johnson, who birdied four of the first seven holes and was 4-under through 16, Patton Kizzire, who was 4-under after 15, and Doug Ghim, who was 4-under after 12. 

Top-ranked Jon Rahm of Spain birdied two of the three holes for a 69 and was in a tie for 18th that included 10th ranked Cameron Smith of Australia, and sixth-ranked Xander Schauffele of La Jolla sand San Diego State, who was 3-under through 15 holes. 

Eighth-ranked Justin Thomas, the defending champion, was 2-under after 15 holes and tied for 33rd, third-ranked Viktor Hovland of Norway was tied for 59th at 71, fourth-ranked Patrick Cantlay of Los Alamitos shot 72 and was in a tie for 80th that included second-ranked Collin Morikawa of La Canada Flintridge and Cal, who was even through 15, while sixth-ranked Rory McIlroy was 1-over through 15 holes and in a tie for 97th. 

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