Berliner TageBlatt - Fleetwood, Hoge lead as weather wreaks havoc at Players

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Fleetwood, Hoge lead as weather wreaks havoc at Players
Fleetwood, Hoge lead as weather wreaks havoc at Players / Foto: © AFP

Fleetwood, Hoge lead as weather wreaks havoc at Players

Rain and thunderstorms wreaked havoc at the PGA Tour's Players Championship in Florida on Thursday, with a long delay that kept some players from even teeing off before darkness halted the opening round.

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Players were pulled from the course for four hours and 14 minutes at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach when dangerous weather conditions rolled into the area and more storms are forecast over the next three days.

The downpour added .45 of an inch of rain to 1.3 inches of overnight rain the course absorbed before play began.

England's Tommy Fleetwood and American Tom Hoge shared the early clubhouse lead on six-under par 66 with India's Anirban Lahiri, Chile's Joaquin Niemann and Americans Keith Mitchell and Kramer Hickok on 67.

But only 69 of 144 players completed their first round while 18 players had yet to begin the tournament, which was set to resume Friday morning.

It was the first weather suspension at the Players since the second round in 2016.

The top player still on the course was Canada's Taylor Pendrith at 4-under with the famed par-3 17th island hole tee shot awaiting him at the restart.

Reigning US Open champion Jon Rahm of Spain fired a 69 while multiple major winners Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson were both 2-under after three holes, Jordan Spieth was level after three and Rory McIlroy was level after two holes.

Britain's Justin Rose was 2-under after two holes.

Japanese star Hideki Matsuyama, the 2021 Masters champion, was a late withdrawal from the field. Matsuyama pulled out citing a back injury and was replaced in the field by American Patrick Rodgers.

F.Pavlenko--BTB