Americans Wyndham Clark and Ryan Armour battled through brisk winds to share a one-stroke lead in Friday’s darkness-halted second round of the US PGA Bermuda Championship.
Clark, never better than fifth in a PGA event, fired a three-under par 68 while Armour shot 70 to leave both on eight-under 134 after 36 holes at Port Royal Golf Course in Southampton.
“I did what I could out there. To get it under par was big,” Armour said.
“I can’t stress how difficult it really was out there. It’s physically tiring and then mentally... you’re just trying to keep yourself in the fight.”
Kramer Hickok was third on 135 with fellow Americans Ollie Schniederjans and Doc Redman on 136. A pack of six on 137 included England’s Luke Donald. Five players remained on the course when darkness halted play, none threatening the five leaders as they prepared to finish the round yesterday. World number 183 Clark started on the 10th hole, made an early birdie at 11 and added back-to-back birdies at the par-3 16th and par-5 17th.
Clark, 26, eagled the par-5 second for the second day in a row but bogeys at the par-5 seventh and par-3 eighth left him sharing the lead.
“I’m overall pretty pleased with how I played,” Clark said. “I’ve hit it pretty good.
“I played the par-5s pretty solid, I’m making the putts that I need to make and I was really just patient out there. It was really tough and I didn’t have any blemishes until the end, so I felt pretty good.”
World 217 Armour, 44, took his only PGA crown at the 2017 Sanderson Farms Championship.
Armour opened with a birdie and added back-to-back birdies at the fourth and fifth, but followed with bogeys at the par-5 seventh, par-4 11th and par-3 13th. Only a birdie at the par-5 17th let him share the lead. “I enjoy the challenge of it,” said Armour. “Today was really hard. We couldn’t judge the distance very well and we had some balls going sideways out there. It just get up in the wind and it would go 20 yards further left or right than you wanted.”
Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat fired a bogey-free 66 to join the pack on 137.
“Especially with this condition, I would say this is the best round for me for the whole season,” he said. “I’ve been struggling a little bit from the beginning of the year. Hopefully today is the turning point.”
Fred Funk, playing alongside son Taylor at age 64, chipped in for birdie at the par-4 ninth to shoot 72, becoming only the fourth player his age or older since 1970 to make a PGA cut, joining US compatriots Jack Nicklaus, Sam Snead and Tom Watson.
“It feels good to know you can do it,” the elder Funk said. “Not many guys even have an opportunity. It means a lot, but the biggest thing was playing with Taylor. The bonus was making the cut.”
Taylor missed the cut after finishing at 12-over.
Leading scores after
darkness-halted second round
(Par-71, USA unless noted)
134-Ryan Armour 64-70, Wyndham Clark 66-68
135-Kramer Hickok 67-68
136-Ollie Schniederjans 66-70, Doc Redman 65-71
137-Denny McCarthy 70-67, Luke Donald (ENG) 69-68, Roger Sloan (CAN) 67-70, Kiradech Aphibarnrat (THA) 71-66, Scott Piercy 67-70, Peter Malnati 63-74
138-Emiliano Grillo (ARG) 66-72, Brian Gay 70-68, Brice Garnett 68-70, Padraig Harrington (IRL) 67-71, Anirban Lahiri (IND) 68-70, Doug Ghim 64-74
139-Beau Hossler 71-68, Troy Merritt 69-70, Chesson Hadley 68-71, Mark Anderson 69-70, Matt Jones (AUS) 68-71, Peter Uihlein 72-67, Michael Gligic (CAN) 68-71
WD-Henrik Stenson (SWE) 69.
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