Players suspended again by rain; to resume Sat.

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PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — Play was suspended again because of heavy rain at The Players Championship on Friday and won’t resume until at least 11 a.m. ET on Saturday, the PGA Tour announced.

The first round was delayed for more than four hours on Thursday, and the last group of players to tee off in the afternoon wave had completed only 11 or 12 of their first 18 holes when play was halted again after four hours of play on Friday. Only 24 of the late starters were able to complete the first round, while 48 still had holes remaining.

Tommy Fleetwood and Tom Hoge had the clubhouse lead at 6 under, while Brice Garnett also was 6 under through his first 13 holes. Potential severe thunderstorms were forecast through Saturday morning, with wind gusts as much as 25 mph expected overnight. The weather was expected to clear by Saturday afternoon with sustained winds of 20-30 mph. Clear skies are expected on Sunday and Monday.

PGA Tour chief referee Gary Young said a Monday finish, which would be the first at The Players Championship since 2005, seemed likely if play didn’t resume on Friday.

“We’ve been crunching some numbers, and yes, we are coming close to that point now,” Young said. “We were hoping to get four hours of golf in [Friday], which we did accomplish, but at some point we were hoping to get back out. We need to try to get as much play as we can by the end of the day. I would say, if we do not get back out on the golf course by the end of the day, then we are into that situation.”

About 2.5 inches of rain fell on the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass through Friday morning, and a steady rainfall forced the horn to sound again at 11:15 a.m. because the course was unplayable with water pooling on greens.

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