2022 Players Championship leaderboard: Weather halts play for second straight day with three-way tie at top

The suspended first round of the 2022 Players Championship resumed early on Friday morning, but it did not conclude. After enduring an early downpour, players were pulled off the course at 11:15 am ET with Round 2 just about to start as Round 1 concluded

Instead, Round 1 will now be completed on Saturday morning but will start no earlier than 11 am — which means that on Saturday afternoon, when the weekend leaders are normally preparing to tee off, we’ll just be getting ready for Round 2. Players like Jon Rahm and Will Zalatoris, who played early on Thursday, might not hit a shot again until Sunday depending on delays and how much water the course takes on overnight.

At one point on Thursday, Collin Morikawa — who is even thru 15 holes — hit a top with his 3-wood because conditions were so slick and nasty. Players weren’t called off the course at the time, but eventually were later on in the day when the rain wouldn’t let up as it started destroying the course for a second time.

All of this means that a Monday — or even Tuesday — finish is very much in play.

“At this point, we’re just battling, trying to make up for lost time,” said PGA Tour chief referee Gary Young on Friday before the cancellation. “We also know that the conditions we’re going to be facing tomorrow with the winds that are predicted, the pace of play is going to be slower as well. So we’re trying to factor all of this in in our projections.

“We may be in a situation where, if we don’t get back out there today, we’re assured of a Monday finish, and we’re also going to have some conversations about whether or not we re-pair following Round 3 ”

If everything breaks perfectly, then perhaps. But if there are any more delays at all or if, say, play is delayed until noon or later on Saturday, there’s almost no chance this event will finish by Monday evening. A glance at the radar shows more rain expected on Saturday morning before the wind howls in the afternoon. No rain is expected on Sunday.

This gives a big advantage to the players who played early on Thursday. They could be almost completely exempt from the wild winds that could come on Saturday afternoon, or some of them might catch a bit of that weather before it gets too dark to continue playing.

Whenever play does resume, though, here’s a look at the current leaderboard:

T1. Tommy Fleetwood (-6) — F
T1. Tom Hoge (-6) — W
T1. Brice Garnett (-6) — 13
T4. Kramer Hickok (-5) — F
T4. Joaquin Niemann (-5) — F
T4. Keith Mitchell (-5) — F
T4. Anirban Lahiri (-5) — F
T5. Daniel Berger (-5) — 16
T9. Brian Harman (-4) — F
T9. Sam Burns (-4) — F
T9. Abraham Ancer (-4) — W
T9. Taylor Pendrith (-4) — W
T9. Kevin Kisner (-4) — F
T9. Dustin Johnson (-4) — 16
T9. Scottie Scheffler (-4) — 15
T9. Patton Kizzire (-4) — 15
T9. Doug Ghim (-4) — 12

Fleetwood, Hoge, Hickok, Niemann and Mitchell are hoping for a scenario that delays play even further on Saturday. They’re in the second wave of tee times, so they wouldn’t have to go back out until Sunday and could miss the worst of the wind.

All in all, this week has been a sloppy, unfortunate mess, especially with all the excitement and storylines coming into the event. There’s plenty of time to salvage the tournament, of course, but when we look back on this event in the future, we will likely remember it for the dreary, rainy bummer of a week it’s been thus far. That is, somewhat ironically, the opposite of the short- and long-term trajectory commissioner Jay Monahan spoke about when the week started.

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