Power, Hurley share clubhouse lead in Wilmington
Washington (AFP) – Ireland’s Seamus Power and American Billy Hurley shared the clubhouse lead as darkness halted play in the weather-hit US PGA Wells Fargo Championship.
The second round at Eagle Point Golf Club in Wilmington, North Carolina, teed off three hours late after an overnight storm brought more than an inch of rain.
When it got underway, players encountered challenging winds, in which Power posted a one-under par 71 and Hurley carded a three-under 69 for a five-under par total of 139.
First-round leader Francesco Molinari was five-under for the tournament — one-over for the round — through 11 holes, and American John Peterson was five-under through 12.
Spain’s Jon Rahm headed a group who had made it into the clubhouse a stroke back on 140, which included compatriot Rafa Cabrera Bello and Americans Vaughn Taylor, Brian Harman and Grayson Murray.
World number one Dustin Johnson, playing his first tournament since pulling out of the Masters with a back injury suffered in a fall, was two-over for the round through 13 holes — five shots off the lead.
Power had four birdies in his one-under effort, and briefly held the outright lead before making two of his three bogeys of the day at 15 and 17.
Weather notwithstanding, the PGA Tour rookie said the move of the tournament to its new home at Eagle Point this year had improved the chances of tour newcomers.
“I think this is a great week for rookies because it’s a course nobody’s seen before,” he said. “That’s one of the toughest things for rookies. You’re playing golf courses that a lot of guys have played, depending on the player, anywhere from 20 to 40 to 50 times. You’re seeing it for the first time and just seeing it on a Tuesday, and it changes between Tuesday and Thursday.
“Whereas here we’re in the same boat as everyone else.”
Hurley was pleased to maintain his share of the lead with a tough par at his final hole — the ninth — which was playing straight into the wind.
“It was a four-iron from 155 (yards),” he said of his approach at the par-five, which landed short of the green.
His chip ran nine feet past, but he drained the put for par.
“It was really big for me because I’ve finished poorly in a lot of rounds of golf in the last month or so, so that was really big for me,” he said.
Sixty-eight players had yet to finish their rounds when darkness halted play. They were to return Saturday morning to complete the second round, with the third round to follow.