Friday's golf: Gillis two shots off lead in Champions playoff opener
Richmond, Va. — Scott Dunlap and Fran Quinn shot 5-under 67 on Friday to share the first-round lead in the PGA Tour Champions’ playoff-opening Dominion Energy Charity Classic.
Fighting a left wrist injury that will require surgery, Dunlap matched Quinn with a closing birdie on the par-5 18th on The Country Club of Virginia’s James River Course.
“Maybe excruciating pain is the key to playing good golf because I’m not getting nervous on a shot, you’re just trying to get through it,” Dunlap said. “The worst parts are gripping it and getting the club started … that’s when that bone hits that bone.”
The top 72 players qualified for the Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs opener. The top 54 on Sunday will get spots next week in the Invesco QQQ Championship in Thousand Oaks, California, and the top 36 after that will advance to the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship in Phoenix.
The 55-year-old Dunlap entered the week 29th in the standings. Playing through the wrist injury, he’s coming off ties for ninth and seventh in his last two starts.
“I think I finally taped it the right way,” Dunlap said. “Or maybe it’s the pain meds kicking in. I don’t know, one of the two.”
Quinn is 64th in the standings.
“I finished up strong last year, too, kind of secured my privileges for the following year making eagle on 18,” Quinn said. “I played solid all day. I had a lot of opportunities. A couple hiccups.”
Jay Haas was a stroke back with Kent Jones, Stephen Ames, Woody Austin and Tim Petrovic. The 64-year-old Haas won the last of his 18 senior titles in 2016.
Vijay Singh and Miguel Angel Jimenez, second in the standings, were at 69 with Joey Sindelar, Tom Gillis (Lake Orion), Billy Mayfair, Lee Janzen, Glen Day and Gene Sauers.
Defending champion Bernhard Langer opened with a 70. The 61-year-old German star won the SAS Championship last week in North Carolina to take the points lead. He has two victories this year and 38 overall on the 50-and-over tour.
Defending Charles Schwab Cup champion Kevin Sutherland had a 71. He’s 14th in the standings. No. 3 Jerry Kelly shot 72. No. 4 Scott McCarron, the 2016 tournament winner, had a 74.
Scott Piercy led a dominant American leaderboard at the PGA Tour’s CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in Jeju Island, South Korea with a 7-under 65 to take a one-stroke lead after two rounds.
Piercy had a 36-hole total of 9-under 135, one ahead of Brooks Koepka, who also shot 65 and is playing in his first tournament since being voted PGA Tour player of the year.
Fellow American Chez Reavie, who led by one stroke after the first round, was in third, three strokes behind Piercy.
Sweden’s Alex Noren (65) and Ian Poulter (69) of England were tied for fourth, four behind.
Five Americans — Brian Harman with a round-of-the-day 64, Ryan Armour and Gary Woodland (67s) and Jamie Lovemark and Pat Perez (68s) — were tied for sixth, five strokes behind Piercy.
Defending champion Justin Thomas shot 70 and was eight shots off the lead at 1-under.
Brian Stuard (Oakland/Jackson) shot a 4-under 68 and is tied for 44th place at 1-over.
Sei Young Kim led the LPGA Shanghai by one stroke at the halfway point after shooting a 5-under-par 67 in the second round.
Kim made six birdies, including four straight from the sixth hole, to move to a 10-under 134 total. Her only setback was a bogey on the par-4 15th.
Danielle Kang (68) and overnight leader Ariya Jutanugarn (69) were one shot back.
Brittany Altomare had six birdies in a bogey-free round of 66, and was tied for fourth with Bronte Law (68) and Brittany Lincicome (68).
Angel Lin eagled the par-5 17th and finished with the day’s lowest score of 65, which also included six birdies and a lone bogey.
Marc Warren helped his chances of retaining his European Tour card by moving into equal-second place behind Englishman Ashley Chesters at the rain-hit Andalucia Valderrama Masters in Sotogrande, Spain.
Bad weather interrupted play for a second straight day at the Real Club Valderrama in southern Spain before darkness caused the second round to be suspended until Saturday, with overnight Chesters still ahead at 5-under.
Weather delays on Thursday, including a threat of lightning, had kept 60 golfers from finishing their opening round. They included Scottish player Warren, who went out on Friday and finished his first round with a 2-under 69.
He then made three birdies to go with one bogey on the first nine holes of the second round before play was halted. He joined Frenchman Gregory Bourdy one shot behind Chesters.