After a long wait to get Friday’s second round underway, Padraig Harrington struggled through 16 holes before darkness called a halt to proceedings at TPC San Antonio.
Thick fog halted play for almost three-and-a-half hours on the opening day, meaning that the afternoon starters all returned Friday morning to complete their first rounds, and returned to the course to begin round two shortly afterwards, meaning it was almost 4pm in Texas when Harrington got his second round underway.
All facets of the 51-year-old’s game were strong in the opening round, particularly putting in which he ranked ninth in strokes gained, but there was a notable deterioration across the board in round two, with the putter going notably cold.
A three-putt bogey at the first was an early sign that things may not go all the Dubliner’s way, though a pinpoint approach to the par-3 third would get him back to level par for the day, and he’d add another birdie at the par-5 eighth after finding the green in two. He’d give that shot back on the next, missing a nine-footer for par to make the turn at level for the day and -4 for the tournament.
Unable to recover after a wayward tee-shot on the par-4 12th, he’d make his third bogey of the day and swiftly followed with his fourth after he was unable to get up-and-down from the right side of the 13th green. He responded admirably with a birdie at the par-5 14th, and as darkness rapidly descended, he’d make a scrambling par at the 15th and missed a five-footer for par on the 16th before play came to a halt, leaving him at +2 for the day and -2 overall.
Meanwhile after opening with a six-over-par 78, David Carey’s struggles on his maiden PGA Tour start continued as he’d traverse his 11 holes in +7. Unfortunately for the powerful Dubliner, he’ll have to return on Saturday morning for a ceremonial seven holes with no chance of making the cut.
Patrick Rodgers leads the way on -11, firing a second-round five-under shortly after closing out his opening-round with a birdie-birdie finish.
He leads Corey Connors and Roberto Diaz by three, with the former, like Rodgers, having completed two rounds, while Mexican Diaz still has eight holes to play in round two.
Stellar iron play has been the secret to Rodgers’ success so far this week, gaining almost seven strokes on the field on approach. “Yeah, that’s been a huge area of focus for me,” Rodgers conceded, “it’s been what’s keeping me from playing better golf and yeah, I’m really proud that the work that I’ve been putting in week in and week out even when it wasn’t paying off on the golf course. Now it’s starting to and I’m happy with the patience that I’ve showed to get here.”
Despite a stellar and record-breaking collegiate career, Rodgers has yet to win on the PGA Tour and keen as he is to break his duck, he concedes that the drought is something that plays on your mind. “Yeah, for sure,” he said when asked if the thought is always there. “It’s something I’ve always dreamt of, it’s the reason why I’m out here. I love this job because I love to compete and I do my best to win a golf tournament every time I tee it up. I’m excited for the chance. This is, like I said, why I play. It’s going to be a really fun next couple of days.”
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