The wind wreaked havoc Saturday at TPC Sawgrass, but it couldn’t blow away Kevin Kisner’s sense of humor.
“I thought [the conditions] were fairly easy,” Kisner quipped after he stepped inside the flash area, sitting pretty at 2 under and well in contention at The Players Championship. “I can’t believe that only one guy shot under par so far. Guys must really be struggling with their games this week.”
“It’s brutal, man,” Kisner continued. “It’s pure luck and somewhat loss of integrity of the tournament in my opinion, but it is what it is.”
While most players, including Kisner, had no real beef with the course setup, Kisner couldn’t ignore the potential for a significant luck-of-the-draw scenario. Thirteen of the top 14 players on the leaderboard entering Sunday’s resumption of Round 2 were part of Thursday’s morning wave, which played no more than a few holes Saturday. Also, 23 of the 25 players at the bottom the board played all day Saturday.
“Balls rolling on the greens, only 72 of us playing in that,” Kisner said. “I don’t know. It’s just going to be different tomorrow. I understand the difference in the waves, but when I got to 17 and 18 you couldn’t hardly stand up much less hit a golf shot.
“It was as good as they could do. Gusts over 40 mph is not made for golf on these conditions. If we were playing in Scotland, it would have been OK.”
Full-field scores from The Players Championship
Sam Ryder, who is 1 under and done with 36 holes, called the course “fair enough.” His main issue was Tour officials not giving the players a break when it comes to pace of play in difficult conditions.
“I think one of the only things that was a little frustrating today was we fell behind on a couple of shots because we had to go back to the tee because a couple guys were kind of getting put on the clock there, and it’s like, it’s playing so tough, it’s like, How fast do you want me to drop and make a double bogey for you here so I can get out of the way of the tournament that’s going on?'” said Ryder, who said he was timed for Nos. 12-15. “It’s just not easy, and you can fall out of position really quickly.
“I think the course setup and everything is plenty fair; it’s just hard, and with all the delays, it’s a little frustrating at those times because it’s not easy in those conditions. You’ve got to kind of throw some of those policies with time out the window a little bit when you’re on a tee like 17. Imagine getting timed and trying to hit quickly and you’re in contention to win a golf tournament with a $20 million purse, and you’re just trying to get it done within a certain time spot. It’s just tough.”
And it will continue to be tough.
But as Kisner reckoned, “We’ve got 36 more holes to figure out who’s playing the best.”