Shane Lowry weathered the storm and left Harbour Town Golf Links with the lead again Friday, but he has a long Saturday ahead of him.
The 32-year-old Irishman had two holes left in his second round when play was suspended due to darkness at the 51st annual RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing. Lowry leads Trey Mullinax by one shot and is two shots ahead of Emiliano Grillo and Dustin Johnson, and he will have a chance to add to the lead when he finishes the par-3 17th and the par-4 18th when play resumes at 7:45 a.m. Saturday.
The field will be cut to the low 70 players, including ties, following the conclusion of the second round, and the third round will begin at 11 a.m. with threesomes starting on the first and 10th tees.
Photos by Bob Cragin
Mullinax grabbed the clubhouse lead, finishing just before play was halted by darkness at 7:47 p.m. The 26-year-old was able to scramble to a 3-under-par 66 despite hitting only 11 greens in regulation, including a nice up-and-down to save par at No. 17 before closing with a solid two-putt par at 18.
“I was glad we got to finish,” Mullinax said. “That gives me a little more sleep so I can go home tonight and rest well and get ready for tomorrow.”
Grillo and Johnson both completed their rounds before thunderstorms rolled in and halted play at 12:48 p.m., prompting a delay of three hours, 43 minutes. Despite windy conditions, both Grillo and Johnson managed to card rounds of 4-under 68, as did Ian Poulter, who is among a group of 11 players tied for seventh at 5-under.
Poulter is right back in contention at the Heritage after taking a one-shot lead into the final round last year before slipping to a tie for seventh.
“I’ve had some decent rounds around this place,” Poulter said. “I haven’t really finished the week off properly yet.”
The best round of the day belonged to C.T. Pan, who breezed through a bogey-free round of 6-under 65 and is tied for fifth at 5-under along with Rory Sabbatini.
With the course softened by Friday’s rain and more favorable scoring conditions expected for the weekend, it might take a lower score than usual to slip into a tartan jacket Sunday afternoon.
“Just keep doing exactly what I’ve been doing,” Johnson said. “I’m swinging well, placing the ball where I want to. Hopefully I can roll in a few putts over the weekend.”