DUBLIN, Ohio: Bill Haas notched an eagle and five birdies in a five-under par 67 on Friday to seize a three-shot lead at the US PGA Memorial tournament before inclement weather halted the second round.
Haas was in the clubhouse on nine-under par 135. Fellow American Matt Kuchar was his nearest rival in the clubhouse after a 70 for six-under 138.
Former Masters champions Charl Schwartzel and Bubba Watson and Kyle Stanley were three-under on the course when play was halted for the day after two prior weather delays.
Defending champion Tiger Woods made no headway in his bid for a sixth title in the $6.2 million tournament hosted by Jack Nicklaus at Muirfield Village.
The world number one fired a second-round 74 that left him 10 shots behind Haas.
Woods, who opened with a one-under 71 on Thursday, teed off on 10 and soon found himself losing ground with a bogey at 13. At the 15th he rolled an eight-footer for par past the hole and missed the putt coming back to make a double-bogey.
Woods — a four-time winner on the PGA Tour already this season — bounced back with birdies at the two par-fives on the front nine, but for the second day in a row capped his round with a bogey, this one coming at the par-four ninth to complete a 74 and a total of 145.
“I’m not that far off,” insisted Woods, who in fact hit all but one fairway in regulation but missed eight greens. “On a golf course like this, with the wind gusts like this, it’s tough.
“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.”
Woods said the gusty winds that preceded the electrical storms moving into the area affected balls on the speedy greens as well as in the air.
“You try and stay below the hole as best you can. But sometimes you have to get the ball on the green,” he said.
Woods was not in danger of missing the cut, but Chinese teenager Guan Tianlang was set to miss the weekend after following up his first-round 72 with a 79.
The 14-year-old prodigy won low amateur honours at the Masters in April, when he became the youngest player to compete at Augusta National.
He followed that up by making the cut at the PGA tournament in New Orleans, but missed the cut in the Byron Nelson Championship.
When play was suspended, world number two Rory McIlroy making a good stab at staying around for the weekend.
After a first-round 78, McIlroy had five birdies and one bogey through 14 holes and was two-over for the tournament. With 42 players still on the course, the cut was projected to come at three-over.
Haas was home and dry before the first of the weather delays — after a round that included holing out from a bunker for eagle at the par-five fifth.
“I’m very happy to shoot two good scores here,” said Haas, who opened with a 68 on Thursday. “Those are probably my best two rounds here ever, so to do them back-to-back in very tough conditions, I’m very pleased.”