Monday, December 11, 2017
Golf

Haas leads weather-delayed Memorial

DUBLIN, Ohio — Bill Haas played the best golf in the toughest conditions Friday in the rain-delayed Memorial.

When the second round was suspended at 7:07 p.m. with 42 players on the course as dark clouds forced the day's third stoppage in play, Haas was in the lead after 5-under 67 had him at 9-under 135.

Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy were close to each other on the leaderboard, but they were miles away from Haas.

Woods, a five-time Memorial winner, had a peculiar round in wind and on fast greens. He three-putted from 5 feet for double bogey on the par-5 15th, chopped up the final hole for bogey and wound up with 74. He was at 1-over 145.

"Tough conditions out there, and I didn't exactly play my best, either," said Woods, who had his worst 36-hole total at the Memorial since he first played it in 1997.

McIlroy was in danger of missing the cut until he fired off five birdies, looking more comfortable with his putts and attacking with his driver. He was 4 under for his round with four holes left and one shot inside the cut line of 3 over when play was stopped.

Play was suspended three times due to dangerous weather and thunderstorms. The first suspension lasted 22 minutes, the second 1 hour, 27 minutes and the third ended play.

Play will resume at 7:30 this morning with players completing the second round before pairings are drawn up and the third round begins.

The wind was a factor in the morning, and it began to increase in strength, while the greens were firm and crispy and required caution even on the shorter putts.

Haas played through it beautifully, taking advantage of one bad tee shot he thought was headed out of bounds on the par-5 11th. He hit a provisional, didn't need it and wound up making birdie. He also holed a bunker shot for eagle on No. 5. He was three shots clear of Matt Kuchar (70), among those who had finished the round.

Haas has been playing the Memorial since 2005, and he has been coming to Muirfield Village even longer, since his father, Jay, was a regular.

"Even though I've never really had great success here personally, I love coming back, look forward to it every year," Haas said. "And part of it might be I've always known how much my dad liked it and how well he did here."

Woods has never won a PGA event from 10 shots behind going into the weekend. He won the 1999 Buick Invitational at Torrey Pines when he was nine behind Ted Tryba. Woods has never made up more than a six-shot deficit on the weekend at Muirfield Village.

His day wasn't nearly as bad as some of those around him.

Matt Every started the back nine with birdie and finished it with 44 on his way to 84. Brendan Steele had 81, and Kevin Streelman, winner of this year's Tampa Bay Championships at Innisbrook in Palm Harbor, shot 80. And conditions proved far too tough for Guan Tianlang. The 14-year-old from China missed his second straight cut after 79 left him at 7-over 151.

LPGA: Three-time NCAA player of the year Amanda Blumenherst and rookie Moriya Jutanugarn shot 5-under 66 to top the leaderboard in the first round of the ShopRite LPGA Classic at Galloway Township, N.J. They were a stroke ahead of defending champ Stacy Lewis, and Michelle Wie was two shots behind in the 54-hole event. Tampa's Cindy LaCrosse was at 5-over 76, Clearwater's Jennifer Gleason 6 over and Tampa resident Kristy McPherson 8 over.

Champions: Tom Lehman, Duffy Waldorf, Dan Forsman and Scott Hoch shot 3-under 69 to share the first-round lead in the Principal Charity Classic at Des Moines, Iowa. Hale Irwin, who turns 68 Monday, topped a group of eight at 70.

2 aces: Andrew Dodt of Australia made two holes-in-one, believed to be only the second player to do so in a PGA Tour round, at the Nordea Masters in Stockholm, Sweden. Dodt defied odds of 1 in 67 million with his two aces in the same round of the PGA Europe event. Starting on the back nine, he aced the 11th hole and then the seventh, finishing with 7-under 65 after shooting 77 in the first round. According to Golf Channel, the only player to have two aces in a single PGA Tour round is Yusaku Miyazato, who accomplished it at the 2006 Reno-Tahoe Open.

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