PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — Chad Ramey became the only player to hit double figures under par in the Players Championship. The TPC Sawgrass, as usual, had the last laugh.
Ramey put two tee shots in the water on the island’s 17th green Friday for a five-time bogey that cost him a 3-stroke lead on a day of wild swings and, possibly, wild weather.
Round two was suspended with half the field unable to complete the round due to a storm system expected to dump half an inch of rain onto the players’ stadium course.
South Africa’s Christiaan Bezuidenhout and Canada’s Adam Svensson tied the lead at 8 under par, both doing what it takes to stay ahead on this course. They didn’t make a bogey on Friday – Bezuidenhout on 14 holes, Svensson on 11 holes – and they only have one for the week.
Ben Griffin was the head of the clubhouse. The former mortgage manager, who had already had a phone call in Bermuda late last year, was playing an exquisite trick until he took a double bogey on his final hole for a 1- less than 71.
Griffin was 6-under 138. Two-time major champion Collin Morikawa was 6-under on 11 holes, while Min Woo Lee was 6-under with three holes to go in his round.
“I’m pretty glad that late rain and thunder came in and let the putter rest a bit and hopefully come out hot tomorrow,” Morikawa said.
Players were scheduled to return at 7 a.m. Saturday to complete the second round. The third round is scheduled for trios on both tees and should be able to be completed before sunset. It depends on the pace of play, and it partly depends on Sawgrass.
Jon Rahm missed all of that. The world number 1 player had a bad stomach and retired about 30 minutes before his tee time. This puts his ranking in jeopardy, as Scottie Scheffler and Rory McIlroy can overtake him.
The advantage goes to Scheffler, who looked shaky early on and settled into his round. He birdied his last two holes of the day before the suspension – Nos. 9 and 10 – to get to 5 under. He has a 15-foot eagle putt on the 16th hole when play resumes.
McIlroy, meanwhile, took a double bogey on the sixth hole and was 6 over for the tournament. He had eight holes to try and shave 4 strokes that will likely be needed to make the cut.
Rahm made every cut last year, and he last missed a cut on the PGA Tour at the Fortinet Championship in September 2021, just before the Ryder Cup.
The course delivered brutal punishment in the second round.
Start with Max McGreevy, who was 20 shots worse than his first round. He shot 89, tying the poor course record as the highest posted score at TPC Sawgrass. The other player who shot 89 was Michael Campbell in the first round in 2003.
Viktor Hovland was 5 under for his round through 11 holes, even getting a break when his tee shot on the par-3 17 bounced off the wooden island frame and onto the green. But then he ran into trouble on his last seven holes and had to settle for a 71.
Hovland was 4-under 140 with Will Gordon (67) and reborn Jason Day (70), a slowly returning former world No. 1. Day started the year at world No. 112, and he could take a big step this week in ensuring he stays in the top 50 for the next two weeks to enter the Masters.
As for Jordan Spieth, he saw his tee shot in the air on his last hole at the par-5 ninth and thought it was time to clean out his locker. But instead of going into the water – it was so far that water is not usually in play – he hit a spectator in the leg and bounced down the fairway. Spieth hit 3 wood on the neck of the green and contributed for the eagle.
It got him back to a 75, and he was sure to make the cut.
“I had an extremely lucky break on the 9th or I wouldn’t be playing on the weekend,” said Spieth, who was at par 144. he wants this weekend. Because everything from here is because it hit him.”
Ramey started with a 64 on Thursday and birdied two of his first three holes to reach 10 under, increasing his lead to 3 strokes. After his quintuple bogey on the 17th, he had to make a 30-foot putt to save par on the 18th, then dropped another shot on the first with a wild drive to the right. He was 4 under with eight holes to go in his round.