Shane Lowry maintained his overnight lead at the RBC Heritage despite the weather as his round was ground to a halt twice on day two, with the Clara man one stroke clear with two holes still to complete before players officially reach the halfway stage at Hilton Head.
The 32-year old had moved to nine-under par when play was suspended Friday because of darkness.
Lowry opened play at Harbour Town Golf Links with a six-under 65 and knew conditions were worsening. He jumped all over the course as quick as he could with birdies on the first and second holes before storms swept the island resort area.
After waiting out a delay of 3 hours, 43 minutes, Lowry played consistently enough to keep in front, adding two more birdies with his first dropped shot of the week coming when he three-putted the par-3 seventh.
Trey Mullinax was a stroke behind after a 68. Dustin Johnson and Emiliano Grillo a shot further back at seven-under after 67s.
Lowry was among 56 players who’ll return on Saturday morning in South Carolina to complete the second round before starting the third.
Mullinax, a shot behind when the round began, tied Lowry with a birdie on the 13th. But the Irishman countered moments later with a two-putt birdie on the 15th to take the lead.
Lowry opened with a 65 to take the first-round lead Thursday. He birdied his first two holes to get to 8 under before play was halted due to a strong storm system that had caused problems throughout the Southeast this week.
“This is one of those days when you look forward to getting back on the couch and watching the guys (in the afternoon) deal with it,” said Matt Kuchar, a morning starter who finished before the delay. “It’s one of those struggling days where you have gone through your own struggles and fun to watch your friends go through it.”
C.T. Pan had the best round of the day at 65 and was tied with Rory Sabbatini at six-under.
Ian Poulter led a group of 11 players who were four behind Lowry at 5 under. Poulter was among the lucky early finishers with a 67, carding six birdies during an 11-hole stretch.
Poulter held a one-shot lead after 54 holes at this tournament a year ago before ballooning to a 75 on Sunday to fall from contention.
“I’ve had some decent rounds around this place,” he said. “I haven’t really finished the week off properly yet.”
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