PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Bad weather pushed back The Players Championship, with a Monday finish now a certainty.
The latest postponement came Saturday when The Players announced that play would not resume before noon and gates would not open ahead of that time.
Later Saturday morning, The Players announced play would resume at noon. Fans were encouraged to be mindful of areas where water had accumulated, as well as mounding and hills, which might be slippery.
All fans should dress accordingly and be mindful of areas where water has accumulated, as well mounding and hills, which might be slippery in the current conditions. pic.twitter.com/aGDa6ipa3N— THE PLAYERS (@THEPLAYERSChamp) March 12, 2022
Here are the second round tee times:
- First wave: Noon to 2:01 p.m.
- Second wave: 5 to 7:01 p.m.
When The Players resumed Saturday afternoon, it was sunny and windy. Fans were excited they didn’t have to bring their umbrellas or wear their ponchos.
A TPC spokesperson said there was an exceptional turnout Saturday despite the bad weather days prior.
“Certainly experienced a lot of traffic in Ponte Vedra, but I appreciate the people being patient with us as we go through an epic weather event,” said Jared Rice, executive director of The Players Championship.
The vendors were successful Saturday as well, after being shut down around noon Friday.
“The community has been awesome. Great crowds today,” Rice said. “The average wait at a concession stand was six minutes. Hospitality is having a good time here.”
Golf fans were excited they didn’t have to bring their umbrellas and wear their ponchos.
“No lightning, no rain. The forecast all week said 100 percent chance of lightning and rain,” golf fan Corey Paul said.
One fan, Gary Gibson, came all the way from Scotland to watch this year’s Players.
“We had to go see the golfers. I mean, look at the weather. It’s fantastic,” Gibson said.
A four-hour weather delay Thursday led to a truncated opening round. Friday’s weather was even worse, with play getting suspended at 11:15 a.m. and the tournament unable to restart again because of steady rain and standing water across the Stadium Course. Play was then suspended at 3 p.m.
PGA Tour chief referee Gary Young said that the tournament is planning for a Monday finish. Young said that he feels confident that the event can wrap up even if The Players went into a three-hole playoff.
“We are very confident at this point — we’re into a Monday finish,” Young said. “We know that. If our calculations on everything hold together and we’re able to start tomorrow, we certainly expect to be finished with the championship on Monday.”
There was more than an inch of rain Thursday before the first player even set foot on the course, and rain was steady throughout the early part of Thursday’s first round. It cleared up for a 3:15 p.m. restart and a good portion of golfers were able to get a chunk of their first round in. Only 66 players finished the opening round. Twelve players didn’t even hit their first tee shots.
Weather is expected to be an issue throughout the rest of the golf tournament, including a cold front forecasted for Sunday.
Sunday is supposed to be colder with high temperatures only in the 50s.
“Tomorrow’s supposed to be record lows, so I’m a little bit scared of cold weather,” golf fan Jake Johnson said.
But the executive director of TPC said despite the weather, the competition has been great.
“Northeast Florida weather is giving the players everything they can handle. It’s a great competition,” Rice said.
Bad weather isn’t good news for the business side of the tournament though. Two years ago, the pandemic caused the final three rounds of The Players to be canceled. Bad weather this year forces the more than 20 restaurant vendors to lose money.
Despite fickle Florida weather, there hasn’t been a Monday finish at The Players since 2005. Fred Funk won that tournament, which was blasted by downpours and 35-mph winds. Funk played 32 holes on Monday and hit a five-foot par putt to win it. Had he missed that putt, the tournament would have gone to a playoff and finished Tuesday.