Gay stays ahead in Memphis
Overnight leader Brian Gay stretched his clubhouse lead in a weather-affected second round of the St Jude Classic.
First-round leader Brian Gay bogeyed the last two holes of his second round but still stretched his clubhouse lead as play was suspended for the day at the St Jude Classic due to the threat of severe weather in Memphis.
With hail, lightning and 70 miles per hour winds closing in on TPC Southwind, tournament officials blew the horn to suspend play at 4:23pm local time (9:23pm BST).
Play will resume at 7am on Saturday when 78 players will have to return to complete their second rounds.
When the third round begins following the halfway cut, players will be re-grouped in threesomes rather than pairs and play off split tees.
Gay, who won the Verizon Heritage tournament in April by 10 strokes, had long posted his second-round score when the hooter sounded.
The American had taken a two-shot lead into Friday’s play and quickly set about trying to build an equally formidable lead to the one he enjoyed at Harbour Town Links with five birdies in his first eight holes before a bogey struck at the 10th.
He moved to 12 under, five shots clear of the field with birdies at the par-four 12th and 15th holes but his good work was undone a little with his disappointing finish as he carded a four-under-par 66, adding to his opening 64 to move to 10 under at the halfway stage.
“Playing well,” Gay said. “Made a bunch of birdies, few more mistakes today, especially there at the end, but pretty happy with 10-under.”
With many of the chasing pack including world number two Phil Mickelson and Europeans Jose Maria Olazabal and Mathias Gronberg among the day’s late starters, PGA Tour veterans Guy Boros, Woody Austin and Loren Roberts took up the challenge.
Austin, 45, won the tournament in 2007 and he moved into contention once again with a second-round 66 to move to seven under, three shots adrift of the lead.
Boros, 44, was also at seven under following his second-round 66, while Champions Tour regular Roberts, 54 later this month and competing in his hometown tournament, shot a bogey-free 67 to reach the clubhouse at six under for the week.
That put him level with former US PGA champion Rich Beem, who shot a 68, and Heath Slocum, who had the low round of the day with a 63 which was matched later by fellow American Bryce Molder, while conditions were still favourable.
“It was ideal out there,” Molder said. “The golf course is becoming one of my favourites that we play out here and not just because I played well.
“I mean, I shot a very large number last year or two years ago playing here. The wind was just howling, and it got me pretty good.
“I wasn’t playing very well at the time and coming to appreciate how good it is. Because even today when the conditions were benign as they could be, you still had to pick your shots to be aggressive.”
Australia’s Robert Allenby also got among the mix and was eight under having played 15 holes, five under for the day.
David Toms will also return tomorrow looking to make further inroads into Gay’s lead, currently standing at seven under with four to play, while Colombia’s Camilo Villegas and American Vaughn Taylor were at six under after 14 and 10 holes respectively.
Olazabal had reached the 13th hole at one under for the day and five under for the tournament but Gronberg had dropped to four under after 13 alongside fellow Swede Fredrik Jacobson, one under for the day after 16, and Mickelson, two under on the day after 15 holes.
Jimmy Walker was in second place overnight but struggled to a 72, two over for the round and three under for the tournament, while Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell could not follow his opening 66 with anything nearly so special as he carded a one-over 71 to fall back to three under.
Ireland’s Padraig Harrington was facing another battle with the cutline as he teed off among the afternoon starters and he will return in the morning still looking to make up shots over his last three holes.
The reigning Open and US PGA champion missed his fourth cut of the year on US soil at last week’s Memorial and he opened the St Jude Classic with a two-over 72.
By the time he began his second round, that was already two shots adrift of the predicted cut line and the Irishman was still level par after 15 holes.
John Daly, though, looked to be heading into the weekend following a two-under 68 that moved him to level par in his first PGA Tour tournament since completing a six-month suspension for misconduct.
His survival could have been cut and dried had he not double-bogeyed his last hole, the par-four ninth.
World number four Sergio Garcia was another player facing an early exit ahead of next Thursday’s US Open after the Spaniard posted a 73 to fall to three over for the week, alongside Welshman Richard Johnson, who failed to build on his opening 67 and was five over for the day after just eight holes.
The man who succeeded Garcia as Players Champion last month, Sweden’s Henrik Stenson, was also facing an early exit in Tennessee following a 75 that moved him to eight over.
Latest second round scores & totals in the USPGA Tour St. Jude Classic, TPC Southwind, Memphis, Tennessee, United States of America
(USA unless stated, par 70):
Note: Play for round 2 has been suspended due to inclement weather. Play will resume Saturday at 7:00am local time
130 Brian Gay 64 66
132 Bryce Molder 69 63
133 Guy Boros 67 66, Woody Austin 67 66
134 Loren Roberts 67 67, Rich Beem 66 68, Heath Slocum 71 63
135 Retief Goosen (Rsa) 68 67, Jason Dufner 68 67, Brett Quigley 69 66, Vance Veazey 67 68, John Senden (Aus) 69 66, Jason Day (Aus) 70 65
136 Ricky Barnes 67 69, Nathan Green (Aus) 70 66, Bob Estes 69 67, Paul Goydos 72 64
137 Michael Bradley 70 67, Bill Lunde 71 66, Graeme McDowell (NIrl) 66 71, Chris DiMarco 69 68, Marc Leishman (Aus) 69 68, David Mathis 68 69, Jimmy Walker 65 72, Tim Clark (Rsa) 70 67, Jason Gore 72 65
138 John Merrick 72 66, Brendon Todd 73 65, Dicky Pride 69 69
139 Brian Vranesh 73 66, Aron Price (Aus) 73 66, Tim Herron 68 71, Lee Janzen 68 71
140 Omar Uresti 70 70, David Gossett 70 70, Ronnie Black 72 68, Cliff Kresge 71 69, Nick O’Hern (Aus) 72 68, John Daly 72 68, Jay Delsing 70 70, J J Henry 70 70, Roland Thatcher 70 70
141 Tim Petrovic 73 68, Andres Romero (Arg) 73 68, Neal Lancaster 72 69, Boo Weekley 69 72, Tim Wilkinson (Nzl) 71 70
142 Kent Jones 76 66, Michael Allen 71 71, Kirk Triplett 73 69, J.P. Hayes 69 73, Charles Howell III 71 71
143 Scott Sterling 74 69, Sergio Garcia (Spa) 70 73, Rick Price 74 69
144 Will MacKenzie 74 70, Billy Horschel 71 73, Tyler Aldridge 69 75, James Oh (Kor) 70 74, Stephen Ames (Can) 74 70
145 Rodney Butcher 72 73, Casey Wittenberg 74 71, Tom Pernice Jnr. 70 75
146 Chris Smith 73 73, Tommy Gainey 78 68
147 Jay Williamson 73 74, Scott Gutschewski 75 72, Matthew Jones (Aus) 75 72
148 Parker McLachlin 74 74, Brandt Snedeker 74 74, Henrik Stenson (Swe) 73 75, Edward Loar 77 71
149 Doug Barron 72 77, Bill Haas 77 72, Carl Pettersson (Swe) 73 76
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