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Rain Leaves Officials Scrambling To Plan

Associated Press
Saturday, March 26, 2005; Page D11

The 17th hole was still the only island green yesterday on the Tournament Players Club's Stadium Course in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

But just barely.

Spectators with their umbrellas walk in front of one of the scoreboards in the rain at The Players Championship. (Rick Fowler - Reuters)

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The second round of the Players Championship lasted only 44 minutes before rain saturated the course and left half the fairways unplayable. Nearly seven hours later, officials had no choice but to send players home until 7 a.m. today and figure out what to do next.

"The perfect scenario would be getting the second round in tomorrow," PGA Tour tournament director Mark Russell said. "We really haven't thought much beyond that."

Steve Jones, who opened with a 64 for a one-shot lead, won't play until noon today.

This was the seventh time in 13 tournaments that weather halted play during a round, and it was the second straight week that Mother Nature had thrown a PGA Tour event into chaos. The first round of the Bay Hill Invitational was washed out after three hours, creating three marathon days until a Sunday finish.

LPGA TOUR: Annika Sorenstam shot a 3-under-par 69 to move into a tie for the lead with 45-year-old Rosie Jones after two rounds of the Nabisco Championship, the first major of the year, in Rancho Mirage, Calif.

Sorenstam, trying to win her fifth tournament in a row, overcame a bogey on the first hole by playing the last 12 holes in 4 under to post her score early, before the wind stiffened and scores began inching upward on the Mission Hills Country Club course. "I'm right where I want to be and excited about that," Sorenstam said. "I'm playing well and I couldn't have asked for a better start."

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