Updated PLAYERS Championship Forecast: First Round Continues After Four Hour Delay

Updated PLAYERS Championship Forecast: First Round Continues After Four Hour Delay article feature image

Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images. Pictured: TPC Sawgrass

  • THE PLAYERS Championship will be affected all week by inclement weather in Northeast Florida.
  • Round 1 was delayed by one hour, and was suspended at 11 a.m. at TPC Sawgrass.
  • After a four-hour delay, play has resumed. Here's a strategy to consider for your betting cards.

There's a golf tournament taking place in the middle of a storm this week at the PLAYERS at TPC Sawgrass in Florida. And the first round has already seen an impact.

Weather is a dominant topic in the betting space as sports bettors and daily fantasy sports (DFS) players look for every piece of information before finalizing their cards by Thursday morning.

Rain is expected for each of the first three days — and caused multiple delays in the first round — but that's not the only element to watch. Wind will be a factor all week, but thunder could make the biggest impact on the tournament.

It's hard to predict what the weather will do four days from now on Sunday and there's not a ton of actionable information to take from it right now. What matters now is Thursday and looking ahead to the cut line on Friday.

That's where it gets complicated.

PLAYERS Championship Weather Forecast

According to RotoGrinders Chief Meteorologist Kevin Roth, off-and-on rain is expected during each of the first two rounds with occasional lightning strikes possible. But the rain shouldn't impact scoring. If anything, it could help.

"Those first two days, despite some spotty downpours, the scoring conditions will stay fairly decent with rains slowing the greens and winds staying light," Roth said.

Throw in the possibility of a lift, clean and place ruling on either day — where golfers in the fairways can mark their ball, clean it and place it again before hitting — and scoring chances could be plentiful for accurate drivers.

What really will matter to golf bettors is the potential for lightning.

Golf can be played during the rain. It will not be played when lightning is spotted in the area, and that's what could cause delays. And if the tournament is delayed with parts of rounds pushed back, fighting for the cut on Saturday will be difficult.

According to Roth, a front passes on Saturday morning, which brings in another chance for rain and storms. More significantly, the wind becomes a factor on Saturday with sustained win over 20 mph and gusts up to 35 mph.

"The worst-case scenario would be if a golfer on Friday was pushed to Saturday and suddenly has to fight for the cut on the windiest day," Roth said. "Pinpointing lightning days out isn't possible, so that 'worst-case' could very well happen to all golfers, no golfers or just the late wave on Friday."

"Those late golfers on Friday would be at highest risk of getting bumped to Saturday, so the safest strategy would be to pick those golfers who tee off early on Friday and thus are less likely to get bumped to Saturday."

If that's the case, targeting players who tee off late on Thursday and early Friday could provide an advantage. You can find all tee times and pairings here, but some notable players who fit the late/early wave include the Rory McIlroy, Collin Morikawa and Justin Thomas group, Xander Schauffele, Brooks Koepka and Scottie Scheffler, as well as Jordan Spieth, Daniel Berger and Dustin Johnson.

While soft conditions could exist early in the tournament, don't expect them to stay. Thanks to TPC Sawgrass' drainage system, SubAir, water on greens can be vacuumed from below while injecting air to create firm and fast surfaces.

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