Posted: Friday, February 17, 2017 – 4:36 PM
(CNS) – Second-round play in the $7 million Genesis Open at Riviera County Club was suspended Friday because of severe weather, with Venezuelan Jhonattan Vegas and Sam Saunders sharing a one-stroke lead over fellow American Jason Kokrak.
Reigning U.S. Open champion and PGA Tour Player of the Year Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth, who won last week’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, are among six players two strokes off the lead.
Play was suspended at 12:18 p.m. and is set to resume at 7 a.m. Saturday. Twenty-one golfers of the field of 142 were able to complete their rounds Friday.
“We were extremely fortunate to get as far as we got based on the forecast,” said Mark Russell, the PGA Tour’s vice president of rules and competition. “I was expecting to come in here this morning and maybe not even be able to play. But we got to play golf for about five hours and 15 minutes, which was a huge help.”
There is a 50 percent chance of rain Saturday, according to the forecast prepared by Stewart Williams, the PGA Tour’s meteorologist.
Russell expressed confidence that the four-round tournament will be able to be completed on Sunday as scheduled.
All grounds and clubhouse tickets for Friday will be honored Saturday or Sunday, tournament officials announced.
Vegas was at 4-under-par through 14 holes when first-round play was suspended Thursday because of darkness. He completed the round with four pars Friday, then had four birdies on the front nine and a bogey on the par-5 11th, completing 14 holes at 3-under-par when play was suspended.
Saunders, grandson of the late golfing legend Arnold Palmer, was unable to begin his second round before the suspension of play.
Kokrak was 2-under-par through 10 holes after firing a 4-under-par 67 Thursday.
Pepperdine sophomore Sahith Theegala, who won a spot in the field by winning Monday’s Genesis Open Collegiate Showcase, is tied for 20th at 3-under- par. The former Diamond Bar High School alumnus shot a 4-under-par 67 for his first round and was at 1-over-par through 11 holes on his second.
World Golf Hall of Fame member Phil Mickelson was unable to begin his round after shooting a 4-under-par 67 Thursday and is among 10 golfers three strokes off the lead.
Australian Jason Day, the world’s top-ranked men’s golfer, is among 18 golfers five strokes off the lead at 2-under-par. He shot a 1-under-par 70 in the first round and was 1-under-par through 15 holes in second.
Hideki Matsuyama, fifth on the Official World Golf Rankings and a five- time winner since the start of the 2016-17 PGA Tour season is projected to miss the cut, as is defending champion Bubba Watson.
Matsuyama completed his 3-under-par 69 first round Friday with back-to- back birdies, then was at 6-over-par through 16 holes in the second round.
Watson followed a 3-over-par first round by going 5-over-par through 16 holes in his second round, completing the day’s play with a double bogey on the par-4 seventh hole.
The field will be reduced to the low 70 plus ties at the conclusion of the second round.
Bryson DeChambeau withdrew during the second round round because of a cut hand. Vaughn Taylor also withdrew following suspension of play Friday.