21 Jul 2018, 05:33 IST
NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Troy Merritt and Billy Horschel seized on the tight window of favorable climate to submit spectacular rounds earlier than the sky ultimately turned nasty.
The climate stoppage gave Brittany Lincicome her desired Saturday tee time, although the LPGA Tour participant should overcome an enormous problem to increase it by making the reduce and historical past in a PGA Tour occasion.
In a single day storms delayed the beginning of the second spherical Friday within the Barbasol Championship, and a day thunderstorm suspended competitors for good. The spherical will resume Saturday morning with a lot of the sector nonetheless to play.
The second stoppage at Champions Hint at Keene Hint Golf Membership got here 20 minutes earlier than Lincicome’s scheduled tee time.
Lincicome was close to the underside of the sector after opening with a 6-over 78 on Thursday. The primary LPGA Tour participant since Michelle Wie in 2008 to start out a PGA Tour occasion, she wants an enormous rebound to affix Babe Zaharias (1945) as the one feminine gamers to make the reduce.
Merritt in the meantime had the clubhouse lead at 15 beneath, following a gap 62 with a 67. Horschel is 2 strokes again, following Thursday’s 65 with a 66.
Beating the weather added urgency to their targets of taking part in nicely.
“It is at all times slightly bit powerful on the market to maintain a rhythm when you understand you could possibly be pulled off the course at any time,” Merritt stated. “You simply do not know when we will peg it once more, however it’s good to have two rounds beneath our belt, that is for positive.”
Added Horschel, “I simply wished to get it executed as we speak.”
Richy Werenski and Tom Lovelady are tied for third at 12 beneath by 17 holes, with Werenski dealing with a Three-foot par putt on 18. Six-time PGA Tour winner Hunter Mahan was amongst a trio of participant at 10 beneath.
Corridor of Famer Davis Love III posted his second consecutive 68 after beforehand taking pictures simply three rounds within the 60s all 12 months.
As these gamers relaxation and wait to see how the sector comes collectively on Saturday — or if, contemplating extra storms are forecast — Lincicome’s longshot quest to make the reduce will draw probably the most consideration.
Lincicome shot a double-bogey 5 on No. 18 earlier than a triple-bogey 6 on No. 7 — which ended up being the opening spherical’s hardest with a mean rating of three.235. That stumble spoiled an in any other case stable front-nine effort highlighted by a birdie on the 408-yard, par Four third gap.
The winner of two LPGA Tour majors amongst eight victories total blamed these struggles on her putter and vowed to enhance. Lincicome acknowledged feeling some nerves on Thursday however stated she was usually calm in her quest for historical past.
“Actually, two dangerous holes,” Lincicome stated, “and if I can do higher on these holes I might be fairly good.”
Merritt continued setting instance to observe regardless of a barely softer course.
A day after tying a course document and posting the perfect opening spherical within the Barbasol Championship’s four-year historical past, he adopted with one other stable effort to stay atop the sector. He strung collectively birdies on the primary and second holes and once more on the sixth and seventh.
The ninth gap resulted within the first of two bogey-5s on par-Four holes — Merritt additionally bogeyed the 13th — however he offset these with birdies on the 10th, 15th and 17th holes.
“I received off to an awesome begin going birdie-birdie,” Merritt stated. “I used to be hitting the motive force nicely. The driving force received just a bit bit sideways towards the center of the spherical and we hit a pair much less fairways. However I hit plenty of greens once more.”
Horschel, the 2014 FedEx Cup champion, was simply as stout with a bogey-free spherical that includes six birdies. That included a 15-footer on the 181-yard, par-Three 18th.
“I hit the ball slightly bit higher as we speak,” Horschel stated. “Putted actually good. General, a very good day to again up a 7-under par spherical. I got here out right here and knew I wanted to proceed to have the pedal down and make birdies, and I did a very good job of that.”
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