THE PLAYERS Championship: The seven times when a Monday finish was needed

Bad weather has caused severe disruptions at TPC Sawgrass this week but it won't be the first time the tournament has had to be extended.

When Jack Nicklaus won the inaugural PLAYERS Championship in 1974, heavy rain meant he had to wait until Monday to finish the job.

Here we are in 2022 and history is repeating itself all over again.

A series of downpours and electrical activity in the area has left organisers with no option but to extend this year's tournament into a fifth day.

This is now the eighth time THE PLAYERS will have suffered such a fate. Here, Planet Sport looks back at the previous seven.

1974 - Jack Nicklaus (-16)

J.C. Snead held a three-shot lead over Jack Nicklaus with 18 holes to play in the inaugural event which took place at Atlanta Country Club in Georgia and actually pulled five clear early on in round four.

But Jack charged and was two in front when Sunday's play was halted midway through the back nine.

The players came back on Monday morning and the 34-year-old Nicklaus kept Snead at bay to record a two-shot win with 16-under.

1976 - Jack Nicklaus (-19)

Despite the event switching venues again, this time to Inverrary Country Club in Florida, there was a definite sense of deja vu two years later when Nicklaus won again.

Not only did the event require a Monday finish (Saturday was washed out by a thunderstorm), the runner-up once more was J.C. Snead

This time Jack finished three in front with a tally of 19-under, a tournament record that would stand until Greg Norman blitzed TPC Sawgrass with 24-under in 1993.

1981 - Ray Floyd (-3)

This was meant to be the debut of current course TPC Sawgrass but, ironically, heavy rains during construction delayed its completion so the 1981 took place at nearby Sawgrass Country Club.

Sunday's scheduled final round was completely washed out by thunderstorms so a Monday finish was required and the drama continued as three players finished tied on 3-under - Ray Floyd, Curtis Strange and Barry Jaeckel.

Floyd's par at the first play-off hole was enough to secure victory, his win coming a week after he'd taken victory at Doral.

1983 - Hal Sutton (-5)

This time, Thursday downpours wiped out the first day and the plan to catch up with 36 holes on Sunday was also kyboshed after further t-storms.

A then 24-year-old Hal Sutton emerged as the winner, the future Ryder Cup captain coming from four shots behind with a closing 69.

His winning score of 5-under, in just the second PLAYERS to be held at TPC Sawgrass, put him a shot clear of Bob Eastwood.

2000 - Hal Sutton (-10)

In a second case of deja vu - and this one surely far more remarkable given the 17-year gap - Hal Sutton claimed his second PLAYERS title and again after a Monday finish.

Sutton did it the hard way, leading from the front and sleeping on the lead four days' running instead of three.

Rain and heavy storms meant the fourth round drifted into Monday and Sutton held firm, hitting a memorable approach to 18 to hold off Tiger Woods by a shot. The third place finishers were a further five back.

2001 - Tiger Woods (-14)

For the second year running, bad weather in Florida caused disruptions and required the event to go to a Monday finish.

Jerry Kelly held a two-shot lead over Tiger Woods and Vijay Singh with 18 to play but in the delayed final round, Woods would not be denied a first win in the event.

Tiger, who holed an iconic putt on the island green at 17 in round three, secured victory on Monday with a 67. His 14-under tally was a shot clear of Singh in second while Kelly slipped back to fourth, two behind third-placed Bernhard Langer.

2005 - Fred Funk (-9)

The bad weather hit early at Sawgrass in 2005 and the second round was only completed on Sunday.

Round three ran into Monday morning and when that was in the books, Luke Donald sat in pole position, one in front of Joe Durant.

With scoring tough as the fourth round started straight away, Donald's 76 saw him slip back to tied second alongside Tom Lehman and Scott Verplank, leaving veteran Fred Funk to pull off a huge shock and claim the biggest win of his lengthy career at age 48 thanks to a closing 71.

Conclusion

Seven Monday finishes. Seven American winners.

That's quite a list: Jack Nicklaus (twice), Tiger Woods, Ray Floyd, Hal Sutton (twice) and Fred Funk.

Five of the seven had won a major at the time.

It's nothing more than a fun piece of speculation but maybe the stars (if we can see them through the clouds) point to an American major winner hoisting the trophy on Monday.

Unless, of course, it hasn't finished by then!

Perhaps we shouldn't rule out this week's event becoming just the second PGA Tour tournament since 2006 to go to a Tuesday finish.

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

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