Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Simpson takes lead at rain-delayed Barclays

JERSEY CITY, N.J. — Webb Simpson didn't mind a long day of golf the way he played Friday at the Barclays.

Simpson ran off six birdies in eight holes to cap a 29-hole marathon at Liberty National that put him atop the leaderboard among the top half of the draw that finished the second round.

"When you're playing well, you feel like you could play 40 holes in a day," Simpson said. "I just wanted to get done (Friday). It just felt nice to putt out on 9, knowing that I've got (Friday night) to sleep and catch up on rest."

Simpson was at 9-under 133. Among those who finished the second round, he was two shots ahead of Keegan Bradley (63), Rickie Fowler (64) and Adam Scott, who was tied for the lead until a lazy finish gave him 66.

Phil Mickelson, trying to retool his game after his British Open win, had 69 and was seven shots behind.

Tiger Woods, the No. 1 player in the world and in the standings for the FedEx Cup playoffs, was among the later starters. He had three birdies through six holes.

The second round is scheduled to be completed this morning.

The tournament was thrown behind because of two rain delays that lasted a combined six hours Thursday.

Simpson only played seven holes the opening day — with five birdies — and played at par the rest of the first round.

The players who finished 36 holes Friday had the tougher end of the draw. It was blustery when they returned in the morning, and the wind did not die until they were finished — just about the time Woods, 18-hole leader Kevin Stadler, Rory McIlroy and others started.

"A lot of guys are playing good golf, and my guess is at the end of two rounds, I won't be leading because there are a lot of birdie holes," Simpson said. "The par 5s are reachable."

Ben Crane withdrew with a lower-back injury, and Lucas Glover (hand) also withdrew, ensuring they won't be among the 100 players advancing to the next FedEx Cup event.

LPGA: Top-ranked Inbee Park shot 5-under 65 to share the second-round lead with playing partner Cristie Kerr at the Canadian Women's Open in Edmonton. Park, who swept the first three majors and has six tour wins this season, had seven birdies and two bogeys to match Kerr at 8-under 132. First-round co-leader Lydia Ko, who last year at this event became the youngest champion in tour history at 15 years and 4 months, was 6 under after 69. Seminole's Brittany Lincicome was four strokes back, tied for 12th, after her second straight 68. Tampa resident Kristy McPherson (70—144) and Tampa's Cindy LaCrosse (73—147) missed the cut.

Champions: Bart Bryant had a fast start in his bid to win consecutive tour titles, shooting 6-under 66 to take the first-round lead in the Boeing Classic in Snoqualmie, Wash. Duffy Waldorf and Bobby Clampett shot 67, and hometown favorite Fred Couples opened with 69.