Scottie Scheffler holds 2-shot lead on record day at Players

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PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — Scottie Scheffler received early, holing a chip from deep tough for eagle on the par-5 second gap on the Gamers Championship to win a wager in opposition to his caddie on the variety of instances the Masters champion chips in throughout the season.

The larger payoff was the way in which Scheffler navigated 26 holes on Saturday — eight within the morning to complete the rain-delayed second spherical, 18 within the afternoon when the TPC Sawgrass was as gentle and susceptible because it will get – for a 7-under 65 to construct a 2-shot lead over Min Woo Lee of Australia.

Nonetheless to return: An opportunity for Scheffler to seize one other large prize in opposition to a powerful discipline, return to No. 1 on the planet and money a $4.5 million winners test.

Id a lot somewhat win the event than get again to No. 1 on the planet, Scheffler stated. In order that will likely be my focus going into tomorrow, simply going out and having a stable spherical of golf.

Scheffler capped his lengthy day with what amounted to a 2-shot swing.

Lee, the youthful brother of U.S. Girlss Open champion Minjee Lee, took three putts from 70 toes on the perimeter on the 18th gap on the TPC Sawgrass for a 66. Scheffler, within the ultimate group behind him, hit the perfect strategy to the correct facet of the inexperienced and rode the slope to 10 toes for one ultimate birdie.

He was at 14-under 202, and nobody else from the highest 10 on the planet is inside 7 photographs of him on the strongest discipline of the yr.

Scheffler is aware of sufficient about Lee, who narrowly acquired into the Gamers, and the TPC Sawgrass to appreciate 18 ultimate holes can really feel like an extended roller-coaster experience.

Lee holed out for eagle from 131 yards on the primary gap and stayed with Scheffler stride-for-stride, and sometimes main, till the top.

Lee solely acquired into the Gamers Championship two weeks in the past when he narrowly stayed within the prime 50 after the Honda Traditional. He made information on Thursday when he suffered a cramp on his tee shot on the fifteenth gap. And now he is within the ultimate group with the Masters champ.

Tomorrow may very well be the most important day of my life, however Ill go on the market and have enjoyable once more, Lee stated. It has been the motto for the final three months. … I am simply out right here having fun with my time, and like I stated, I simply crept into this event and benefiting from it and soaking all of it in.

Cam Davis of Australia had a 67 and was 4 photographs behind, adopted by a gaggle 5 again that included Tommy Fleetwood and Aaron Rai of England, who made a hole-in-one on the seventeenth. It was the primary time the island inexperienced has yielded two aces in the identical week. Chad Ramey made one within the opening spherical.

Jon Rahm, the present No. 1 and three-time winner this yr, withdrew earlier than the second spherical with a abdomen ailment. Rory McIlroy had an opportunity to get again to No. 1, however he missed the reduce with rounds of 76-73.

Storms stored half the sphere from ending on Friday. Scheffler returned at 7 a.m. with eight holes to play, made a pair of birdies to get inside 2 photographs of 36-hole chief Adam Svensson after which swapped turns on the prime with Lee many of the day.

Tom Hoge set the file on the Gamers Stadium Course when he holed a 10-foot putt for his tenth birdie of the spherical and a 62.

And to suppose Hoge had a flight booked house to the Dallas space for Saturday afternoon. He opened with a 78, bounced again with a 68 and figured his 2-over complete would nonetheless not be sufficient when the second spherical completed Saturday morning.

The most important assist got here from Luke Checklist. He was in need of the par-5 ninth inexperienced in three, some 40 toes from the opening. Rise up and down for par and the reduce could be 1 over and 11 gamers would have missed the reduce. He made double bogey. Hoge was amongst those that acquired in. And he took it from there, lacking solely two greens and changing all of the essential putts.

Hoge now could be at 8 underneath, 6 photographs out of the lead.

I completed yesterday afternoon really and awakened this morning to observe the scores for a couple of hours there, and that was far and wide, Hoge stated. So I simply felt lucky to have tee time this morning. Simply tried to exit and make as many birdies as I may.

He did not realize it was a course file till he signed his card.

Svensson, in the meantime, made birdie on his ultimate gap of the second spherical after hitting right into a hospitality tent subsequent to the ninth. That gave him a 67 and a 2-shot lead, and he began with a birdie. Nevertheless it acquired sideways rapidly, notably when he made a multitude of the 14th and took triple bogey. He shot 75 and fell eight again.

Lee has a lot at stake. A two-time winner on the European tour, he can earn PGA Tour standing with a win, and a good end is more likely to transfer him excessive sufficient on the planet rating to get within the Masters. Theres additionally that small matter of a $4.5 million payoff to the winner.

Sawgrass is frightening, he stated. Theres loads of instances the place individuals have faltered and you do not need to be a type of. However so long as you may management your feelings and go on the market and have enjoyable — which I did — it was enjoyable enjoying actually good golf.

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