Fox storms into contention at rain-hit Players Championship

Sat, Mar 11
Ryan Fox plays a shot during the second round of the 2023 Players Championships.

Ryan Fox has stormed into the mix at the Players Championship with one of the rounds of a rain-affected day at Sawgrass.

Fox was four-under through nine when bad weather stopped play, seeing him fly 74 places up the leaderboard into a tie for 20th after opening the event with a disappointing two-over 74 yesterday.

The Kiwi golfer appeared to have put the rough round behind him though with a birdie to open the day on the par-four first hole before pushing his way into contention with three straight birdies through holes five, six and seven.

It hasn't been as easy for others though including overnight leader Chad Ramey who put two tee shots in the water on the island-green 17th hole this morning for a quintuple-bogey that cost him a three-shot lead on a day of wild swings and, eventually, wild weather.

The second round was suspended with half the field unable to finish the round because of a storm system expected to dump a half-inch of rain on the Players Stadium Course.

Christiaan Bezuidenhout of South Africa and Adam Svensson of Canada shared the lead at 8-under par, both doing what it takes to stay in front on this course. They didn't make a bogey today — Bezuidenhout through 14 holes, Svensson through 11 holes — and they have only one for the week.

Ben Griffin was the clubhouse leader. The former mortgage loan officer, who already had one close call in Bermuda late last year, was playing an exquisite round until taking double bogey on his final hole for a 1-under 71.

Griffin was at at 6-under 138. Two-time major champion Collin Morikawa was 6 under through 11 holes, while Min Woo Lee was at 6 under with three holes left in his round.

“Kind of glad this rain delay and thunder came in and let the putter rest a little bit and hopefully come out hot tomorrow,” Morikawa said.

Players were to return at 7am tomorrow local time to finish the second round. The third round is schedule for threesomes off both tees and should be able to finish before sundown. That depends on the pace of play, and some of that depends on Sawgrass.

Jon Rahm missed all of this. The world's No. 1 player had a bad stomach bug and withdrew about 30 minutes before his tee time. That puts his ranking in jeopardy, as Scottie Scheffler and Rory McIlroy can overtake him.

The advantage goes to Scheffler, who looked shaky early 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 at 6 over for the tournament. He had eight holes to try to shave off four strokes that likely will be needed to make the cut.

- Additional reporting by the Associated Press


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