Adam Svensson generates – literally – closing birdie, leads Players after 36 holes

Adam Svensson generates – literally – closing birdie, leads Players after 36 holes
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The grills in the hospitality area left of TPC Sawgrass’ ninth hole had yet to fire up Saturday morning by the time Adam Svensson came through just before 9 a.m.

Good thing.

The 29-year-old Canadian, trying to get his second round in the clubhouse and clinging to a one-shot lead at The Players Championship, fanned his second shot at the par-5 right and into the tent. Svensson and his caddie, A.J. Montecinos, spent the new few minutes searching for Svensson’s ball – between grills, gas and water tanks, presumably a few dozen packages of hamburger buns; Montecinos even got a lift to look on top of a portable generator.

Eventually, they found the ball, Svensson was granted free TIO relief and he went on to birdie the hole, rolling in a 5-footer to shoot 5-under 67 and grab the first 36-hole lead of his PGA Tour career.

At 9 under, Svensson, who last fall won his first Tour title at the RSM Classic, is two shots clear of Scottie Scheffler heading into the third round, which was set to start later Saturday morning after rain pushed Friday’s second round into a new day. Those who were unable to complete 36 holes by late Friday afternoon when play was suspended were greeted Saturday morning with cooler temperatures, yet less wind and softer conditions.

Collin Morikawa, Ben Griffin, Min Woo Lee and Christiaan Bezuidenhout are all tied for third at 6 under.

Rory McIlroy was among the notables to miss the cut at 5 over, and he was joined by names such as Matt Fitzpatrick, Keegan Bradley and Billy Horschel in exiting early. Jon Rahm also won’t be around for the weekend after withdrawing with illness on Friday.

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