Thomas, Watson Creator of Stealth-Free TPC Excursions

Thomas, Watson Author of Stealth-Free TPC Tours

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Florida. – In what was already the hardest pre-cutting spherical of the Gamers Championship in 15 years, Justin Thomas and Bubba Watson managed to play a ghost-free Saturday in excessive winds on a day of spills way more than pleasure.

The rain lastly dissipated and TPC Sawgrass grew to become much more terrifying with winds nearing 40 mph on a stadium pitch that would punish even in calm situations.

That leaves Thomas (69) and Watson (68) to not be decided till Sunday when the second spherical is accomplished. The rain-plagued event is so late that 27 gamers have not began after the second spherical.

Thomas and Watson shared the membership’s lead at 3-under 141. They left in a tie for fifteenth, and 6 of the gamers in entrance of them did not end a single gap.

Kevin Kesner hit a degree 6 underneath lower than his second spherical till he misplaced a brief shot on No. 4 and went from uncooked to water for a double bogey on the subsequent gap. He shot a 74 and was at 2-under 142. Dustin Johnson flew his final gap for a 73 and was at 142, with two stealths on par 5s on the 36 holes.

The course was so saturated with rain that it took 54 hours, 16 minutes from Adam Schenk hitting the opening tee Thursday morning to Brendan Steele in hiding early Saturday afternoon to finish the primary spherical.

Tom Hoge goes to Sunday and his identify is on the high of the leaderboard. He solely performed 18 holes. He opened with a 6-under 66 on Thursday and was linked with Tommy Fleetwood, who was degree by way of three holes when play was suspended.

Those that spent greater than six hours on the course on Saturday went on to reside pricey life, particularly after they got here to the notorious Inexperienced Island at 17 par-3.

Over the course of two days, solely 4 gamers fell into the water. On Saturday when play resumed, the primary 4 gamers couldn’t discover the inexperienced. Scotty Scheffler died within the wind and went lengthy within the water. Xander Shaveli and Brooks Koepka caught a whirlwind and walked out, as did Colin Morikawa within the group behind them.

By the tip of the day, 29 balls had entered the water.

The typical second-round rating when play was suspended was 75.37, and it was positive to go up on Sunday morning. The typical was 75.41 for the opening spherical in 2007, the primary 12 months for gamers in Could. The best proportion ever within the opening two rounds was 76.19 in 2000 when that was in March.

Recording tends to lower after the reduce. The best common rating for any spherical was 76.51 within the third spherical of 2005.

“Insane,” Thomas mentioned to explain the problem.

Keegan Bradley (71) talked about hitting a 9 iron from 96 yards on the twelfth gap within the wind, and the identical membership from 206 yards with the wind in his again at Bar 5 16.

The forecast was for temperatures within the excessive 30s when play was attributable to resume on Sunday morning and the winds aren’t fairly as fierce however no much less daunting.

Thomas thought he would find yourself on the finish of a great draw after they began on Friday in calm situations nonetheless within the rain. Again to 30 mph wind pace Saturday morning to complete the tour after which face an 18 gap of that within the afternoon? Not a lot.

“There may be at all times one one who performs effectively on the dangerous aspect of the lot,” Thomas mentioned. I stored saying, “Be that man.” I’m very happy with myself as we speak.”

Many went within the fallacious course.

Schauffele was 4 on his opening spherical, two photographs off the lead, when he hit the water on the seventeenth and did a great job saving a bogey.

However on the 18th gap—enjoying so lengthy within the wind that some gamers wanted candy steel to get to degree 4 in two photographs—Shaveli drew a nasty lie within the roughness that he solely superior about 15 yards. From there, he hit the water. After a drop, his spur was spinning a lot within the wind that it slid about 75 toes into the golf green.

Stealth completed the quad for a 73, then shot a 78 within the second spherical.

Koepka was three when he got here again and had simply left from par-5 in sixteenth within the two locations. It took him 4 photographs to get off. He put a tee within the water on 17 for a double bogey and shot 72. He adopted that up with a rating of 81, matching his excessive rating on the PGA Tour.

Requested in regards to the description of Day 17, Koepka mentioned, “It is luck.”

He hit a Iron 8 from 205 yards on the sixteenth gap within the morning. He estimates that the iron with an 8 on the seventeenth goes the opposite method 105 yards within the air, then about 20 toes to the underside of the pool.

Tour officers tried to arrange with simpler pins for the second spherical, lifting a bit off the chops of the greens up to now two days, not wrapping them up since Friday.

“He is brutal, man,” Kissner mentioned. “It is pure luck and a little bit of a lack of championship integrity in my view. We’ve got one other 36 holes to see who’s the very best.”

The second spherical was scheduled to renew at 8:15 am and will likely be adopted by the third spherical, which is not going to finish till Monday morning. The event remains to be prone to finish on Monday evening.