THE PLAYERS Championship: Report card so far for the world’s top 10

The weather has caused chaos at Sawgrass but virtually all the elite players are in position to make a run when the action finally resumes.

The big names who had Thursday afternoon tee-times at THE PLAYERS Championship are having to be patient.

Poor weather meant they could only just get going on day one. And further rain and storms on Friday caused additional delays, ensuring another early return to TPC Sawgrass on Saturday morning as they bid to finally get 18 holes in the books.

It's a guessing game as to when the tournament gets finished so let's look at where we are so far.

Here, Planet Sport runs the rule over how the world's top 10 fared/are faring on their opening laps. They're listed in order of world ranking.

Jon Rahm (3-under 69)

Starting at 10, early starter Rahm picked up birdies at 13 and the par-5 16th but gave those gains back in successive holes at 18 and 1. To his credit, he dug deep and responded with par breakers at 2, 7 and 9 to break 70. It wasn't vintage stuff but the Spaniard made a score and rode a hot putter, gaining 2.28 on the greens so far. He's losing strokes on approach (-0.79) though.

Thursday quotes: "It wasn't my best day tee to green, maybe not my best day with the irons, but luckily short game was good. Kind of reverse to what it's been the last few months. I was able to post a score."

Collin Morikawa (Evs after 15)

The Open champion came out fast with birdies at 2 and 3 but swallowed bogeys at 4 and 7 after missing shortish putts. He returned to red figures with another gain at 8 but has played the first six holes of his back nine in 1-over after a dropped shot at 14. He'd driven "279 yards to the left fairway" on the par-5 16th when the horn sounded so looks in good position to make another birdie on his return and nudge nearer the lead. His Strokes Gained stats are as you would probably guess: good Approach numbers but negative on the greens.

Viktor Hovland (1-under 71)

Viktor Hovland at the 2022 PLAYERS

The Norwegian was cruising along nicely, moving to 4-under after birdies at 12, 18 (after an approach to 8 feet), 4 and 5. But he made a mess of 6, missing a 4-footer for bogey and also took six swishes at the 9th after finding water off the tee. That poor finish currently has him in tied 59th and five off the pace. It's recoverable but he'll have had plenty of time to stew after getting finished on Thursday and not hitting a ball on Friday. His stats show strong approach play but -1.95 SG: Putting and -1.18 Around The Greens.

Patrick Cantlay (Even-par 72)

Cantlay, like Rahm and Hovland, managed to get his full round in on Thursday. Not that it was one to remember. The Californian, who played the back nine first, managed birdies at 11, 17 (from 5 feet), 1 and 4 but dropped shots on four of the par 4s: 12, 15, 1 & 4. Again, similar to Hovland, Cantlay struck it well with his irons (1.97 SG: Approach) but was modest on and around the greens.

Scottie Scheffler (-4 after 15)

With two wins in his last three starts, Scheffler has some understandable swagger and it's all looking good so far. He's tied ninth, has yet to made a bogey and has scribbled circles on his card at 1, 5, 9 and 15. If he can get up and down at the par-5 16th (Shot 2: 196 yards to left fairway, 31ft 11 in. to hole) Scheffler will have a fifth birdie and be just one back. He's positive in every SG category so far.

Rory McIlroy (+1 after 15)

Rory McIlroy at the 2022 PLAYERS

After responding to an opening bogey with a run of three straight birdies to reach -2, the round is getting away from Rory. He's dropped shots at 6, 10 and 14 and failed to birdie the par 5s at 9 and 11. He's at least in position to change that at the final long hole, 16 (Shot 1: 287 yards to left fairway, 215 yds to hole). So far he ranks 3rd for SG: Off The Tee but outside the top 100 in Approach and Putting. He'll resume in a tie for 97th.

Xander Schauffele (-3 after 15)

Another to bogey the first hole but Schauffele has bounced back impressively with birdies at 4, 6, 10 and 14, the latter three thanks to holing putts between 12 and 14 feet. You can virtually give him another at 16 as he'll have a 3ft 6in putt for birdie there which would lift the Olympic champion into the top 10. His stats look solid across the board.

Justin Thomas (-2 after 15)

The defending champion played the first four holes in 1-over after a bogey at 3 but he flipped that quickly with gains at 5 and 7 before a superb approach to inside three feet for another red number at 15. At the par-5 16th, he's driven 274 yards to the right rough and has 250 yards to the hole still. Apart from that loose one, the long game looks good but he's lost 0.61 strokes with the putter.

Dustin Johnson (-4 after 16)

Dustin Johnson at the 2022 PLAYERS

DJ was being written off by the bookies pre-tournament after a slow start to the year but he's cruising along nicely and even has a shot at the lead when he resumes his round. Johnson hit 4-under after just seven holes and, after dropped shots at 10 and 13, returned there with gains at 14 and 16. He's safely aboard the island green at 17 and will have a 20-footer to get to 5-under. Another with positive Strokes Gained numbers in every category.

Cameron Smith (-3-under 69)

The Aussie had only broken 70 once in 10 attempts at Sawgrass although, to be fair, that was a sparkling 65 on Saturday last year. He shot in the 60s again on Thursday morning, firing four birdies against a lone bogey (at 18, his ninth).

Quotes: "It was pretty scrappy off the tee, to be honest. I holed a lot of good par putts and felt really good with the putter (7th so far for SG: Putting)."

READ MORE: Tommy Fleetwood gets off to a flier in disrupted first round of THE PLAYERS Championship

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