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Couples Shines in Weather-Delayed Senior Players Championship


Fred Couples was having a whale of a second round at the Senior Players Championship before Mother Nature abruptly ended it Friday. The $2.7 million Champions Tour major began Thursday at Fox Chapel Golf Club in Pittsburgh.

Beginning play on the 10th tee, the 53-year-old from Seattle carded five birdies on his front nine and birdied the first two holes on his back before he was forced to retreat to the clubhouse when a storm came through the area.

The thunderstorm brought a half-inch of rain in 30 minutes, overflowing creeks and turning fairways into small ponds. Officials said the threat of more storms forced a cancellation of the third round, which will resume on Saturday morning before the start of the third round. Sixty-six players had not completed their rounds before play was halted.

Though Couples stands at 11-under par, the clubhouse leader is Jeff Hart, who's completed rounds of 68 and 65. Hart's 65 was his best score of the year.

Sitting at 9-under through 15 holes is first-round leader John Huston, who was 4-under par before having to leave the course. Sharing third at minus-7 with Hart is Duffy Waldorf (3-under through 14).

The winner of last week's Encompass Championship, Craig Stadler, opened with a 70 and was 3-under through 11 holes in the second round.

Last year's surprise winner in the Senior Players Championship, Joe Daley, opened a 1-over 71 and was 2-under through 11. Bernhard Langer, an 18-time winner on the Champions Tour and the leader in the season-long Charles Schwab Cup points' race, started with a 72 and was still 2-over after playing 12 holes in even-par.

In his Champions Tour debut, Scotland's Colin Montgomerie started with a 69 but is now tied for fourth at minus-4 after going 3-under through 12 holes.

For scoring updates, visit http://www.pgatour.com/champions/leaderboard.html.