It's officlal. The Players Championship has become a bonafide weather nightmare. The PGA Tour suspended play for the rest of the day on Friday because of rain and thunderstorms that continued to move through the Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., area and TPC Sawgrass. With numerous players not having completed their first round, the stoppage guarantees that the Players will have a Monday finish for the eighth time in its history and the first time since 2005. According to PGA Tour chief referee Gary Young, it's looking like players aren't going to be able to complete the third round by the end of Sunday. “We feel very confident we’ll be able to accomplish the conclusion of this championship on Monday,” Young said.
(Scroll down for the latest updates)
As for what is currently a, ahem, fluid leader board, Tommy Fleetwood and Tom Hoge are at the top, having completed rounds of six-under-par 66 in Thursday's first round. Neither got to start Round 2 on Friday. Brice Garnett, a 38-year-old journeyman, was six under through his first 13 holes in the first round when play was suspended Friday. The next-best score for anyone still playing their first round was the five under by Daniel Berger, who was through 16 holes.
Players 2022 live updates:
4:46 p.m.: The PGA Tour's rundown of what the last two days have looked like:
11:50 a.m.: It’s usually not good news when Gary Young, the chief referee of the Players Championship, is talking in the media center. And this time, it’s no exception. Young addressed the status of the water-logged tournament, explaining that 2½ inches of rain have fallen in 24 hours and the golf course has simply become too water-logged.
"We battled through some pretty tough conditions this morning,” Young said. “The staff did a great job keeping up with the greens as much as we could, squeegeeing, trying to manage play through some really difficult cells that we were facing. Unfortunately, we have reached a point now where there's just no window behind this area that we're moving into now. There's some lightning that is headed in this direction. We knew it was just going to be a point where we're just going to be battling too hard to keep up.”
Young said he was happy they got in four hours of play on Friday, but if they aren’t able to get players back out this afternoon, the scenario that nobody wants is almost guaranteed to be the case.
“We may be in a situation where, if we don't get back out there today, we're assured of a Monday finish.”
11:18 a.m.: And there it is! Play has been suspended. Again. Actually, it's pretty amazing they got in as much golf this morning (four hours worth) as they did. Unfortunately, the forecast doesn't look great for the rest of the day (and for tomorrow for that matter), but we'll let you know as soon as there's any news.
11:15 a.m.: After dropping a couple shots, Dustin Johnson birdies 14 and 16 to move back to four under. He's playing alongside Daniel Berger, who fails to birdie the par-5 16th, but remains at five under. We're also hearing they are going to call play at any moment. In the meantime, Brice Garnett has joined Tommy Fleetwood and Tom Hoge at six under thru 13 holes. If you have a first-round-leader bet on Fleetwood or Hoge, Ts & Ps.
11:05 a.m.: The rain had lightened up, but now it's really coming down again. And the marquee group of McIlroy, Morikawa and Thomas still can't get much going. Thomas is in the best shape at two under, followed by Morikawa at even and McIlroy at one over. The trio now enters TPC Sawgrass' exciting closing stretch of 16-18.
10:45 a.m.: Daniel Berger becomes the latest to join the fray at five under. The four-time PGA Tour winner makes four birdies in a five-hole span to climb the leader board. Berger is coming off a Honda Classic in which he failed to convert a five-shot lead through 54 holes. But clearly he's kept that (mostly) good form going at TPC Sawgrass.
10:32 a.m.: And suddenly we have a new challenger as Kevin Kisner holes out from a greenside bunker on the par-5 16th. You could practically hear him yell, "This ain't no hobby!" Especially because no one would play for fun in these conditions. The eagle vaults him to five under and only one back of Tommy Fleetwood and Tom Hoge, who continue to lead at six under.
10:17 a.m.: Here's a look at your MVPs of Friday thus far. These dudes are putting in serious work:
10:00 a.m.: Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy can only match Morikawa's par on the par-5 11th despite the fact that neither of them topped a shot. JT fails to get up and down from the greenside bunker and McIlroy three-putts after finding the green in two. Again, not a lot of guys making moves right now.
9:55 a.m.: Well, there's something you don't see every day. Collin Morikawa taking a crack at a par 5 in two and. . . topping it. We're going to go ahead and blame that on the rain. I mean, we're talking about Collin Morikawa here. Fortunately for the World No. 2, his ball stayed dry and he wound up saving par to remain at one under.
9:43 a.m.: These troopers are playing through driving rains now. The marquee groups have really slowed down, in particular on the par-5 11th where squeegeeing has not led to many birdies. Of those currently on the course, Brice Garnett and Andrew Putnam both have the best rounds going at four under. Jason Day and Michael Thompson have fallen back to three under after picking up their first bogeys of the day.
9:25 a.m.: OK, now we're looking like we're about to have a stoppage in play as there's a backup on the 11th green for squeegees before Daniel Berger, Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson attempt their putts. And they are going to squeegee different parts of the green at different times because they are putting from different spots. "I don't care about the time, I care about the conditions," Spieth could be overheard saying. When you're playing for that much money, we don't blame you.
9:13 a.m.: Despite ESPN+ telling us a weather delay was about to happen at 9, the players continue to play on at the PLAYERS. The rain has definitely picked up, and the birdies have slowed down a bit. Dustin Johnson made the turn at four under, but bogeyed No. 11 and no one in the McIlroy/Morikawa/Thomas group birdied the par-5 ninth. One former champ who is racking up birdies, however, is Jason Day, who birdied No. 11 to move to four under. An impressive performance, especially considering he's playing with a heavy heart after his mom passed away last week.
9:00 a.m.: Michael Thompson is having himself a day. First, he was a (very) late add to the field when Tyler McCumber withdrew on Friday morning. And now he's gotten off to a scorching start with four birdies on his first six holes. Talk about playing with house, er, stadium money.
8:49 a.m.: Kudos to Brooks Koepka for quickly bouncing back after making double bogey on No. 5. The four-time major champ answered with birdie on the next hole and added another birdie on No. 9 as he makes the turn at two under. Surprisingly, Koepka has no top 10s in five career starts at TPC Sawgrass.
8:21 a.m.: Justin Rose joins Dustin Johnson amongst the hottest rounds of the second wave with a fourth birdie on his card. The Englishman had just made a 53-footer on the fifth hole, and he just holed a 25-footer at No. 6. Rose is 4-under through 6, taking advantage of the conditions thus far.
Rose has over 98 feet of holed putts through six holes. What a hot start for the 2013 U.S. Open champ.
7:48 a.m.: The "morning" wave of golfers from Round 1 is officially complete. Now we're hoping to get everyone who hadn't teed off yet on the course. And hopefully the thunder and lightning will hold off until later in the morning, so we potentially get all of Round 1 in on Friday.
7:40 a.m.: Rory McIlroy continues his hot start with a third straight birdie, this one with putter from off the green at the fourth hole. That gets Rory back to 2-under for the tourney.
In the same group, Collin Morikawa was at 2-under but drops a shot after being in trouble off the tee, and missing a par putt of about 6 feet. Morikawa moves back to -1.
7:32 a.m.: There are few hotter players in golf right now than Cameron Young. He challenged Joaquin Niemann at Riviera in that strong field, and now in the strongest field of the year he's making an early appearance on the leader board yet again.
Young just holed out for birdie at the fourth hole to get to 3-under. Out of position with his tee shot, he hit his second shot 48 yards short of the green, before holing the shot:
7:15 a.m.: We are off as scheduled this morning! Players who were on the course are continuing their round. We still have some groups who hadn't teed off yet, which included Tyler McCumber, who has WD this morning. He's replaced in the fiedl by Michael Thompson. It pays to stick around!
Dustin Johnson continues his hot start with a birdie at the short par-4 fourth. He marked his ball overnight, ensuring he'd get some smooth greens in the a.m., and he takes advantage, burying his third birdie in four holes to start his first round to move to 3-under.
Of course there are also groups from the "morning wave" still on the course, like Taylor Pendrith, who was 4-under through 16 when he wrapped for the day Thursday.
We'd normally post the pin positions in this space, but all the hole locations are the same as yesterday. Instead, the weather forecast is probably a little more useful ... and the PGA Tour has now included Tuesday on their updates, which is a sign we might be headed toward a Tuesday completion of play: