Justin Thomas moved into contention to become the first man to win back-to-back titles at the Players Championship with a remarkable unblemished second round of 69 in gusting 35mph winds that reduced the Sawgrass field to farce.
With the first round unable to resume before 12pm (5pm GMT) on Saturday due to ongoing overnight rain and thunderstorms in the Ponte Vedra Beach area in Florida, Thomas carded a level-par 72 before completing a bogey-free 69 in the second round to move to three under.
"I don't know what I'm happier about, I'm obviously ecstatic to be done but I'm even more pleased to finish the day bogey-free," said Thomas. "I played one of the best rounds I've played in a very long time, if not ever. I'm just proud of how patient I stayed today."
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"Comical is a word that comes to mind. Because of how soft it was, it wasn't unplayable or anything, the balls weren't rolling off the green. But that was Open Championship-like. It was a lot of feel out there, for sure."
Former Masters champion Bubba Watson joined Thomas on minus three as he holed a 13-foot putt on the 18th to ensure he did not drop a shot in a four-under 68 despite the winds causing havoc for large swathes of the day.
“The last couple holes, I brought a couple of extra sandwiches today, and I started eating to get some energy because the mental part, especially me, wears me down real fast," said Watson.
"Today it's all about the mental grind and trying to stay committed to the shots or the putts even when the wind's blowing. Even the two-footers, right? It's very tough.”
Tommy Fleetwood continues to hold a share of the lead with American Tom Hoge on six under. Hoge is one of 27 players yet to start their respective second rounds after the incessant rains and thunderstorms over Thursday and Friday saw the first round pushed to an astonishing 54 hours and 16 minutes to finish.
Fleetwood enjoyed a birdie at the 2nd hole but a bogey at the 3rd saw him fall back before play was suspended due to darkness with the European Ryder Cup player in rough on the 4th.
He is due to resume at 8:15am (12:15pm GMT) on Sunday with Hoge teeing off for his second round at 8:31am (12:31pm).
Rory McIlroy completed two rounds of 73 to finish on plus two and must wait to discover if that will be enough to finish inside the top 65 and make the cut.
"It was brutal out there," said the Northern Irishman, winner of the 2019 Players.
Open champion Collin Morikawa added a 75 to an opening 73 to finish on four over and is almost certain to miss Sunday and the fifth day on Monday when tournament organisers hope to complete a $20m event savaged by the unforgiving weather.
29 balls ended up in the water on the 136-yard par-three 17th hole on Saturday to illustrate the ferocity of the winds with the four-time major winner Brooks Koepka carding a nine-over 81 after running up a double bogey during his 72 in the first round and a triple in his second on the iconic island hole.
“I think everybody knew today was going to be extremely tough," he said. "You play the wrong shot with the wrong gust and you make some numbers."
Chasing the richest prize in golf of $3.6m (£2,746,800) does not make such days any easier.

Players Championship 2nd Round leaderboard

  • T1. Tommy Fleetwood (-6) 3
  • T1. Tom Hoge (-6)
  • T3. Joaquin Niemann (-5)
  • T4. Keith Mitchell (-5)
  • T4. Anirban Lahiri (-5)
FULL LEADERBOARD
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