Friday's golf: Stuard-Knox in hunt at delayed Zurich Classic
Avondale, La. — Peter Malnati and Billy Hurley III topped the Zurich Classic leaderboard at 14-under 130 on Friday when darkness suspended second-round play in the team event at TPC Louisiana.
Malnati and Hurley played 36 holes Friday, shooting a best-ball 9-under 63 in the morning in the rain-delayed first round and a 67 in alternate-shot play in the afternoon in the second round. Play was delayed for more than seven hours Thursday, with only half of the 80 two-man teams teeing off.
“You play well in a day that doesn’t feel as long,” Malnati said. “But I’ll tell you what, I’m going to call it maybe our 28th or 29th hole, as we were making the turn, my legs were tired. I know Billy and I both, most of the guys out here, are into our conditioning and it’s important, but you’re not prepared to be on your feet walking for what we were today, 10 hours or more, with warmup more than that. It’s a long day.”
They played bogey-free in alternate shot, also the final-round format after the best-ball third round. Because of the wet conditions, players were allowed to lift, clean and place their golf balls in the fairways.
“We’d love to have a couple of putts back late on our second nine today,” Hurley said. “But playing 36 holes and stuff, the greens definitely got kind of scruffy a little bit and harder to make putts, so we’re super thrilled with pretty much every shot I think we hit today.”
First-round leaders Brian Gay and Rory Sabbatini were a stroke back with Russell Knox-Brian Stuard (Oakland/Jackson), Scott Stallings-Trey Mullinax and Kevin Kisner-Scott Brown, with only Knox and Stuard finishing two rounds. Gay-Sabbatini and Kisner-Brown had 14 holes left in the second round, and Stallings-Mullinax had nine to go.
Knox and Stuard shot 62-69 in their 36-hole day.
“I think we kind of got a bit of a break not having to come out yesterday and then getting it all in today,” Stuard said. “It’ll be nice to relax for a little bit.”
Gay and Sabbatini opened with a 60.
Major champions Henrik Stenson Stenson topped the group at 12 under after rounds of 65 and 67.
“We had a long day today. We have a bit of a lay-in tomorrow,” Stenson said. “It’s been a disrupted week for everyone one way or the other, and possibly the conditions for the guys who played yesterday and finished up this morning were a little easier. But we didn’t have to sit in the clubhouse all day yesterday. So there’s been pluses and minuses for everyone.”
At Los Angeles, Minjee Lee took advantage of fellow Australian Hannah Green’s problems to take the second-round lead in the Hugel-Air Premia LA Open.
The fourth-ranked Lee eagled the par-4 14th in a 2-under 69 to reach 7-under 135 at Wilshire Country Club.
Green birdied three of the first six holes to get to 9 under, then played the final 12 holes in 5 over for a 73 that left her three strokes back at 4 under. She had a double bogey after hitting into the water on the par-4 17th — her eighth hole — and also had three bogeys.
Denmark’s Nanna Koerstz Madsen was second after a 67. Morgan Pressel (66) and Mexico’s Gaby Lopez (68) were 5 under.
Stacy Lewis, tied with Green for the first-round lead, also had a 73 to finish at 4 under with playing partner Inbee Park (70), Danielle Kang (66), Jaclyn Lee (67), Shanshan Feng (70).
At Ridgedale, Mo., Tom Pernice Jr. and Scott Hoch teamed to shoot a 9-under 62 in best-ball play at Ozarks National to take the first-round lead in the PGA Tour Champions’ Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf.
The teams of Shaun Micheel-Loren Roberts, Ken Tanigawa-Gene Sauers and Roger Chapman-David Frost were a stroke back.
Micheel-Roberts and Chapman-Frost shot 63 at Ozarks National. Tanigawa-Sauers had an 8-under 46 on the Top of the Rock par-3 course, playing the first nine holes on the nine-hole layout in modified alternate shot and the second nine in best ball.
The team will rotate courses at Big Cedar Lodge on Saturday, then all play the final round Sunday on the par-3 course.
Americans David Lipsky and Sean Crocker share a one-shot lead after the second round of the Trophee Hassan II in Rabat, Morocco.
On a day of strong winds that led to some high scoring, Crocker recovered from making four bogeys in his first six holes to shoot 1-over 74 and finish on 5 under. That included an eagle on the par-4 17th hole.
Lipsky made five birdies for a 3-under 70 to join his compatriot in the lead.
Woods sitting out Quail Hollow
Masters champion Tiger Woods is not ready to get back to work.
Woods did not enter the Wells Fargo Championship next week at Quail Hollow, meaning he likely will go an entire month without playing until the PGA Championship at Bethpage Black on May 16-19.
“He’s not ready to go next week,” said Mark Steinberg, his agent at Excel Sports Management. “The Masters took a lot out of him. He’s not hurt, but he is being smart.”
This would be only the third time in his career that Woods did not play between majors. He went nine weeks between the Masters and U.S. Open in 2006 when his father died, and eight weeks between the Masters and U.S. Open in 2008 when his left leg was badly injured.
He went a month between the U.S. Open and British Open in 2013.