Hoge, Fleetwood Still Tied for Lead in Rainy 48th Players Championship

Tom Hoge hasn’t hit a shot in competition since opening with a 6-under-par 66 on Thursday, but he remains tied for the lead with Tommy Fleetwood of England in the rain-delayed 46th Players Championship on the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

Fleetwood played three holes in the second round on Friday and recorded a par, a birdie and a bogey to remain tied for the lead with Hoge (pictured) before darkness halted play.

There are 27 golfers who have not it their first shots in the second round and play will continue early Saturday in chilly conditions, but the winds are not supposed to be a strong as the gusts that reached more than 40 miles per hour on Friday.

However, when plays resumes on Saturday morning it will be in chilly temperatures, but winds only in the 20s, with the second round expected to be finished and the cut made before the third round starts, with the tournament headed for a Monday finish despite the beginning of Daylight Savings Time.

Joaquin Niemann of Chile, who hit three shots on Friday, Keith Mitchell and Anirban Lahiri of India, who did not play on Friday, are tied for third after opening with 5-under-par 67s.

Doug Ghim is the only player who teed off Friday morning in the top 10 at 4-under through 14 holes and is in a tie for sixth with 10th-ranked Cameron Smith of Australia, who sank a 28-foot birdie putt on his only hole in round two, Kramer Hickock, who played four holes in round two, plus Harold Varner III, Brian Harman and Will Zalatoris, who all played three holes.

Also in the tie for sixth are Sam Burns, Abraham Ancer of Mexico and Taylor Pendrith of Canada, who all opened with 68s.

Bubba Watson posted the best round on Friday with a bogey-free 68 and is in a tie for 15th at 3-under that includes eighth-ranked Justin Thomas, who had a bogey-free 69, top-ranked Jon Rahm of Spain, who hit one shot on Friday after opening with a 69.

“This might have been the best round I’ve ever played, considering that I went bogey-free with the wind up the way it was,” defending Players Champion Thomas said. “It was very difficult out there and I just tried to keep the ball in play.

“I’m tired from working so hard out there and I’m going to get some treatment on my feet and legs, which are tired and sore, because we have two rounds to play and I want to keep going the way I have been playing.”

Ninth-ranked Dustin Johnson is tied for 23rd after a 73, while third-ranked Viktor Hovland hit one shot on the first hole and his tied for 41st after an opening 71, and fourth-ranked Patrick Cantlay of Los Alamitos and UCLA hit one shot on the first hole after opening with a 72 and is tied for 55th.

Fifth-ranked Scottie Scheffler, who won the Arnold Palmer Invitational last week, shot 76 and is in a tie for 84th that includes sixth-ranked Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland, who had a 73, while second-ranked Collin Morikawa of La Canada Flintridge and Cal is tied for 104th after a 75, and Xander Schauffele, the gold medalist from La Jolla and San Diego State, is tied for 119th following a 78.

“I hope it blows like this in the morning and they freeze their butts off, since they’ve been sitting at home all day watching us in the carnage,” said Kevin Kisner, who is four strokes behind in a tie for 23rd after a 74.

There were 27 balls hit into the water on the 136-yard island green 17th hole on Saturday, after only a total of five on the first two days.

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

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