Haas Leads Suspended Memorial Tournament


On a blustery and stormy Friday that caused two suspensions of play before the second round was halted altogether, the Memorial Tournament is unquestionably up for grabs. The $6.2 million PGA Tour event is taking place at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio.

The first delay was short - only 22 minutes, while the next was an hour and a half. At just after 7:00 p.m. ET, however, the second round was suspended altogether as dangerous conditions enveloped the Jack Nicklaus-designed course.

Bill Haas was one of the fortunate players to complete the first two rounds, and he handled the conditions the best. The 31-year-old Charlotte native followed up his opening 4-under 68 with a 67 to reach 9-under 135, three shots ahead of Matt Kuchar, who's finished a 68 and 70.

On the front nine Friday, Haas, a four-time winner and the 2011 FedEx Cup champion, carded two birdies and an eagle on the par-5 fifth when his bunker shot found the cup. On the home half, he added three birdies and a pair of bogeys.

"I've been very fortunate, like I said that hole, turned a 7 into a 4 real quick and made a nice putt at 15, holed out from the bunker on 5," Haas told PGATour.com. "That hole is playing downwind, so it's very reachable for pretty much everybody in the field. But anytime you hole out of a bunker, a lot of things have to go your way."

First-round leader Charl Schwartzel, who opened with a 65, was 1-over through 15 holes and at 6-under along with Bubba Watson - who had carded six birdies and a bogey through 14 holes before heading to the clubhouse. Also at 6-under is Kyle Stanley (13 holes).

Scott Stallings was 3-under through 13 holes on his card and 5-under, while at 4-under 140 is Robert Karlsson (69, 71). Also at 4-under are Justin Rose (14 holes) and Charlie Wi (12 holes).

The second round will resume Saturday morning before the start of the third round. The halfway cut will be made after everyone's second rounds are completed. But continued stormy weather - with temperatures in the high-80s Saturday and bit cooler Sunday with the threat of lightning - might forebode a Monday finish.

Opening with a 71, defending champion Tiger Woods shot a 2-over 74. After five birdies and four bogeys Thursday, the game's top-ranked player - who began play on the 10th tee - got off to a rugged start, with a bogey on his fourth hole (the 13th) and a double-bogey on the par-5 15th.

"It's a little rough out there," Woods told PGATour.com. "It's not that hard to make bogeys and doubles on this golf course. You miss it in the wrong spot, get the wrong gust, it's tough. We had a few shots in our group that ended up in special, interesting spots."

Rory McIlroy was well on his way to rebounding from an opening 78 before exiting the course. The 24-year-old Northern Irishman had five birdies and a bogey through 14 holes before the suspension of play and is at 2-over heading into Saturday morning.

The tough conditions were evidenced in several uncharacteristically high scores by the game's top players. Posting 80s were Tommy Gainey, Kevin Streelman and Charlie Beljan, while Brendan Steele had an 81 and Matt Every an 84.

For all the scores, visit http://www.pgatour.com/leaderboard.html.


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