Sunday 22 October 2017

No fun, no sun at Riviera as storms spoil day

Shane Lowry lines up a putt on the 11th green during the interrupted second round of the Genesis Open. Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images
Shane Lowry lines up a putt on the 11th green during the interrupted second round of the Genesis Open. Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images

William S Callahan

Graeme McDowell took a calculated gamble by ignoring the 'stop play' hooter in the second round of the Genesis Open at Riviera CC yesterday.

McDowell had just one hole left and was at three-under par when officials called a halt to golf for the day due to severe stormy weather which drenched spectators, players and the course, and which toppled some trees.

G-Mac and some other players, including Keegan Bradley, had the option to continue playing the hole they were on if they wished, and the 2010 US Open champion completed the 475 yards par-four 18th hole.

The move almost paid off spectacularly as McDowell struck his second shot to the back of the green and from 35 feet, rolled the ball to just two inches away from a birdie.

The Northern Irishman had to settle for his par and a round of 70.

Overall, he had every reason to feel satisfied with a three-under total, especially as he was among a group of only 23 players who got through 36 holes.

Toughest

Shane Lowry started on the 10th hole, renowned as the toughest par-four under 350 yards on the PGA Tour since 2013-14.

Lowry got off to a bad start by missing the fairway. He was bunkered off his second, took two to get out of the sand trap, and carded a bogey five.

Even at that early stage he looked like a man who would prefer to be at home, and matters did not improve. By the 16th Lowry was six over par when play was halted around 12.20pm local time (8.20pm Irish time).

Padraig Harrington got the better half of the draw and made good use of it by shooting 67, four-under par on Thursday.

He was one of the many players, including first-round leader Sam Saunders (-7) who did not hit a shot yesterday.

Jhonattan Vegas reached seven-under with 14 holes completed. Jordan Spieth was making progress up the leaderboard and got to five-under with two left to play before he had to quit the course.

Spieth, winner of last week's AT&T Pebble Beach ProAm, said: "To feel like we actually have a chance to win this tournament is nice, so hopefully go out tomorrow, finish it off strong, and take it into the weekend."

Play resumes today at 7.0am local time (3.0pm Irish).

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