Golf: Bezuidenhout and Svensson in lead before play stopped at Players Championship

Christiaan Bezuidenhout of South Africa plays an approach shot on the 14th hole during the second round of the Players Championship. Getty Images via AFP

MIAMI – South Africa’s Christiaan Bezuidenhout and Canadian Adam Svensson tried their best at the Players Championship on Friday, but could do nothing against Mother Nature.

The duo shared the lead in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida before the second round was suspended due to an incoming storm.

Bezuidenhout was four under after 14 holes, leaving him on eight under for the tournament, while Svensson was on the same score but had completed only 11 holes.

American Ben Griffin was the clubhouse leader after completing his round, shooting a one-under 71 to leave him on six-under 138 and two strokes behind the leaders.

World No. 2 Jon Rahm of Spain had pulled out of the tournament on Friday morning due to illness.

The 28-year-old Bezuidenhout, who has collected 10 wins internationally but has never won on the PGA Tour, was pleased with the way he coped with windy conditions early in his round.

“The first nine holes was tough. It was so windy out there. But it actually died down over the last hour. I just tried to keep the ball in play. In that wind, it was just trying to hit fairways and give yourself looks at the green,” he said.

Svensson, who won his first PGA Tour event at the RSM Classic in November, started on the back nine and had just hit consecutive birdies after the turn when play was called off for the day.

“I was hitting a lot of fairways, a lot of greens, putting well. Just playing safe, playing aggressive when I can,” the 29-year-old said.

American Collin Morikawa and Australian Min Woo Lee – both had yet to complete their rounds – sat two strokes behind the leaders in a share of third spot alongside Griffin.

Three-time Major winner Jordan Spieth carded a three-over 75 with double bogeys on the 14th and fifth holes to leave him on even par.

He had a spectator to thank for making the cut after making an eagle on his last hole, the par-five ninth, to keep him in the tournament.

Spieth’s drive off the tee was heading into the water but hit a watching fan and the ball bounced back into the fairway. The American then chipped in from just off the green for his eagle.

“I got an extremely lucky break on nine or I wouldn’t be playing the weekend. I am trying to get that guy’s information and see literally whatever he wants this weekend because everything from here on out is because it hit him,” he said.

“Very fortunate. I can’t say I deserved it.” AFP

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