Friday’s roundup: Lovemark, Vegas lead Zurich Classic
Avondale, La. — Jamie Lovemark and Jhonattan Vegas shared the Zurich Classic lead at 11 under Friday when second-round play was suspended because of darkness.
Lovemark had a 27-hole day at hot and humid TPC Louisiana, completing a 5-under 67 in the first round and adding a 66 in the second in the event that fell behind schedule Thursday with a long rain delay.
“Just happy to be alive,” said Lovemark, winless on the PGA Tour. “It was hot, humid. It’s a tough walk, just soft, so ate a ton, walked slow. Not too bad. …
“I’m going to go sleep, man, find some AC, chill a little bit. I’m staying in town, so get some good food and just kind of relax, watch some basketball.”
Vegas shot 64-69.
“Long day,” Vegas said. “I played 301/2 holes today. I knew it was going to be an extremely long day, so I just kind of kept the mentality and hit one shot at a time and just played as hard as I can. The course was a little easier this morning with the greens being soft, but the wind picked up in the afternoon, and this course was really hard.”
None of the players in the afternoon wave finished the round, with top-ranked Jason Day at 5 under and facing a 15-foot birdie putt on the par-5 11th when play resumes. He is the first No. 1 player to play in the event since David Duval in 1999.
Brian Stuard (Jackson), the overnight leader after a 64 on Thursday, was a stroke behind at 10 under with six holes left.
Harold Varner III was 8 under after a 67. He and Tiger Woods are the only players of black heritage with PGA Tour status this season.
“I just think I’m obviously putting better,” Varner said. “You get out of a few jams when you chip it bad and you hole a few putts you’re supposed to hole, it just makes it a lot easier.”
Patton Kizzire, Thomas Aiken, Daniel Bergerand Patrick Rodgers were 7 under. Kizzire (67-70) and Aiken (68-69) finished, while Bergerhad five holes left, and Rodgers 11 to play.
Vegas won the 2011 Bob Hope Classic for his lone tour title. He made a double bogey on the par-5 11th — his second hole of the second round — after losing a ball on his second shot.
“I just hit a bad shot,” Vegas said. “I shouldn’t have really gone that close to that tree, but it’s part of the game.
“I was proud to kind of get my head on the next shot and the next hole and bounce back with birdies after that.”
At Irving, Texas, Gerina Piller made herself right at home in the Volunteers of America Texas Shootout, shooting a 6-under 65 to take the lead in the suspended second round.
The long-hitting U.S. Solheim Cup player lives in Plano, about 20 miles from Las Colinas Country Club. She birdied three of the final five holes in her bogey-free round to reach 10-under 132.
Play was suspended because of rain just after 4 p.m. and called for the day because of lighting a little after 6 p.m. None of the afternoon starters were unable to finish. The field will be cut to the low 70 and ties after the completion of the round Saturday morning, then trimmed again to the low 50 and ties after the third round.
South Korea’s Eun-Hee Ji was a stroke back at 9 under after a 66.
Felipe Aguilar shot a 7-under 65 in the second round of the China Open to take a one-stroke lead before play was suspended because of a thunderstorm at Beijing.
Aguilar, seeking his first tour win in two years, fired seven birdies to be 11 under overall, one stroke ahead of Alex Noren and Bernd Wiesberger.
Noren has carded 67-67, while Wiesberger stayed in contention with a 69.