Els in the mix, just two shots back
Ernie Els moved into contention for his third victory of the season after the delayed second round of the Valero Texas Open.
Ernie Els moved into contention for his third victory of the season after completing the delayed second round of the Valero Texas Open.
Friday’s play was washed out due to heavy rain and a tornado warning and the tournament may need to carry over into Monday unless 36 holes can be played on Sunday.
Els, winner of back to back tournaments in the WGC-CA Championship and Arnold Palmer Invitational earlier this year, began the day six shots off the pace.
But the South African carded a flawless 67 with five birdies and no bogeys to move up into a share of 12th place, just two shots back.
The US PGA Tour’s current money and FedExCup points leader, who also is the only player in this week’s field ranked in the top 10, missed the cut last week at THE Players Championship while working through a bad swing.
He arrived in Texas focused on releasing his club earlier and not being so “handsy through the hitting area.” Though still feeling conservative with his drives, Els was on target with his driver.
On the par-5 second, Els got out of a fairway bunker with a 5-iron before sinking a 17-footer for one of his five birdies. He hit par on every other hole.
“I felt one more tournament could really do it for me, and although it didn’t happen in the first round, I feel it’s really coming around now,” Els said.
Jones, who carded a course-record 66 on Thursday, added a 71 on Saturday, while Nitties and Walker returned rounds of 67 and Wetterich a 68.
Seven players are just a shot off the lead on six under, including American Pat Perez, who went one better than Els with a 66.
The lowest round of the day came from American Scott Piercy, who carded five birdies in a row from the first, and nine in total, in a 64 to join Els on five under.
England’s Greg Owen is another player on five under following a round of 68, a score matched by Sergio Garcia to lie three under.
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