Monday, June 27, 2022

The Players: Is the PGA Tour’s flagship event destined for a Monday finish after stormy start?

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Sky Sports to show round-the-clock coverage from TPC Sawgrass on their dedicated Players Championship channel; more than five hours of play were lost on the opening day due to overnight rain and further thunderstorms

Last Updated: 11/03/22 6:04am

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PGA Tour rules official Gary Young provides an update on how TPC Sawgrass has coped with the excessive rain and looks at how The Players is going to have any chance of finishing as scheduled

PGA Tour rules official Gary Young provides an update on how TPC Sawgrass has coped with the excessive rain and looks at how The Players is going to have any chance of finishing as scheduled

After a weather-disrupted opening round and Friday’s bleak forecast, along with strong winds and further rain over the weekend, there are already doubts as to whether the PGA Tour’s showpiece event will be completed by Sunday evening as planned.

More than five hours of play were lost on Thursday because of the overnight rain and further storm delays, meaning many of the field were unable to get under way and none of the bottom half of the draw could complete their first rounds.

The delay was the first weather stoppage this year on the PGA Tour and the first at The Players since the second round in 2016, with more thunderstorms expected on Friday which would see the tournament fall even further behind schedule.

Rory McIlroy, Collin Morikawa, Xander Schauffele, and Justin Thomas discuss the impact that the inclement weather could have on this week's Players Championship

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Rory McIlroy, Collin Morikawa, Xander Schauffele, and Justin Thomas discuss the impact that the inclement weather could have on this week’s Players Championship

Rory McIlroy, Collin Morikawa, Xander Schauffele, and Justin Thomas discuss the impact that the inclement weather could have on this week’s Players Championship

Wade Stettner, the PGA Tour’s on-site meteorologist, said during the opening round: “Tomorrow [Friday] looks like a rough day. It looks like we could be battling thunderstorms through most of the day. They will develop in the morning and come at us in waves throughout the day, so it’s going to be another tough day at TPC Sawgrass.”

Limited daylight in Florida at this time of year makes it a challenge just to complete a full round on a storm-free day, with tee times from sunrise and play usually not being completed until dusk, so Thursday’s sizeable setback will make it tough to get the tournament back on track.

All the best shots from an eventful first day of The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass

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All the best shots from an eventful first day of The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass

All the best shots from an eventful first day of The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass

Further rain on Friday would be an unwelcome sight at TPC Sawgrass, where 1.25 inches of rain was dumped on the course overnight on Wednesday before another half-inch fell a day later onto an already saturated course.

The predicted storms would take some – if not all – of the second round into the weekend, where the weather will throw up different challenges to the players on what is a notoriously tricky layout.

Strengthening winds, from a different direction, will see many of the holes play completely differently than they did over the first two days, while Sunday’s forecast resembles something more akin with the British coastline than what you would expect in the Sunshine State.

“I don’t know when I’ll play next, but I’m happy,” Fleetwood admitted after his opening-round 66. “I’m done, I’ll sit and I’ll rest. I can go into tomorrow [Friday] knowing that I’m really definitely not going to be out until pretty late, but I have enough time to sort of plan.”

PGA Tour players reflect on 40 years of the Tour's flagship event being held at the iconic TPC Sawgrass

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PGA Tour players reflect on 40 years of the Tour’s flagship event being held at the iconic TPC Sawgrass

PGA Tour players reflect on 40 years of the Tour’s flagship event being held at the iconic TPC Sawgrass

The Players has gone to a Monday finish seven times in the tournament’s history but not since Fred Funk’s victory in 2005, when it took a fifth day to finish off the third round and complete the final round in its entirety.

Although the PGA Tour will do everything in its power to try and avoid extending its flagship tournament, it is already looking a strong possibility that four days will not be enough to determine who will take home the $3.6m jackpot.

Watch The Players throughout the week live on Sky Sports’ dedicated channel. Live coverage continues on Friday from midday on Sky Sports The Players.





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