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The weather causes chaos at Players Championship

Rain and thunderstorms wreaked havoc on Thursday’s PGA Tour Players Championship in Florida, with a long delay that prevented some players from even turning before darkness stopped the opening round.

Players were taken off court for four hours and 14 minutes at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach as hazardous weather conditions rolled into the area and more storms are forecast over the next three days.

The downpour added 0.45 inches of rain to 1.3 inches of overnight rain that the track absorbed before play began.

England’s Tommy Fleetwood and American Tom Hoge shared the early clubhouse lead at six under par 66 with Indian Anirban Lahiri, Chilean Joaquin Niemann and Americans Keith Mitchell and Kramer Hickok at 67.

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

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

The top player still on the course was Canadian Taylor Pendrith on 4-under with the famous par-3 17th island hole tee shot waiting for him at the restart.

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

Briton Justin Rose was 2-under after two holes.

Japanese star Hideki Matsuyama, the 2021 Masters champion, was a late withdrawal from the field. Matsuyama withdrew due to a back injury and was replaced on the field by American Patrick Rodgers.

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