Saturday, May 26, 2018

Graham DeLaet, Luke Donald share lead after two rounds at RBC Heritage

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. — Graham DeLaet loves playing at Harbour Town Golf Links but has rarely gotten the results he thinks he should — until this week.

DeLaet followed his career-best 6-under 65 in the first round with 67 Friday to share the lead with Luke Donald midway through the RBC Heritage.

Donald also shot 67 to reach 10-under 132, two in front of Ian Poulter and Webb Simpson, who both shot 68.

DeLaet was 1 over on his first seven holes of the second round until birdie on the difficult par-4 eighth and eagle on No. 9, also a par 4 where the Canadian bounced his approach shot into the cup.

DeLaet had never finished better than 14th in six trips here and had only twice broken 70 in his past 10 rounds before this week. DeLaet said his top-15 finish a year ago — his first and only one — continued to fan his flame for Harbour Town. "And my love and enjoyment of playing this golf course turned into, 'Maybe I could play well here,' " he said.

DeLaet plodded through the first part of his round until he dropped his approach on the 461-yard eighth within 15 feet and made the putt. On the next hole, he sent a wedge from 109 yards onto the green, simply hoping to spin it back left toward the pin. Instead, it hopped in the cup to put DeLaet out front.

"We couldn't see the bottom of the pin, but there was reaction from the crowd so we figured it was in," DeLaet said.

The Canadian has won four times worldwide (three in his home nation and once in South Africa) but has never done better than three seconds (the last at the 2014 Waste Management Phoenix Open) on the PGA Tour. DeLaet doesn't plan to change his approach with a big weekend ahead. "I'm looking forward to not getting up at 4:45 a.m. again like I did this morning," he said with laugh.

First-round leader Bud Cauley followed his 63 with 72 and was in a group of five at 7-under that included Jason Dufner and Sam Saunders, the grandson of the late Arnold Palmer.

CHAMPIONS: Bob Tway bogeyed two of the last three holes for 7-under 65 and the first-round lead in the Mitsubishi Electric Classic in Duluth, Ga. Tway birdied the par-5 sixth — his 15th — to reach 9 under, then dropped shots on the par-4 seventh and ninth. David Frost was second after a bogey-free 66.

LPGA: Ariya Jutanugarn and In-Kyung Kim each birdied their final hole late Thursday to share the clubhouse lead after the suspended second round of the Lotte Championship in Kapolei, Hawaii. Jutanugarn, last season's player of the year, shot bogey-free 6-under 66, and Kim 64 to reach 9-under 135. Su-Yeon Jang, among the 15 players still on the course when play was halted due to darkness, was also at 9 under with two holes left.