American Bertsch tied for early lead at La Quinta

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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - American Shane Bertsch birdied three of the last four holes to hold a share of the clubhouse lead in the weather-delayed second round of the Bob Hope Classic at La Quinta, California on Friday.

Bertsch, who opened with a sizzling 10-under-par 62 on the Nicklaus Private course at PGA West, followed up with a three-under 69 on the neighboring Palmer layout, one of four venues hosting the event in the California desert.

Birdies on 15, 16 and 18 gave him a 13-under total of 131, level with fellow Americans Joe Ogilvie (66), Martin Flores (65) and Collins (64), who all played on the Nicklaus course.

Tour veteran JP Hayes carded a 67 on the Nicklaus layout to sit at 12 under, a stroke in front of South African Tim Clark (63) and American Vaughn Taylor (67), who both toured the Palmer course.

"I felt it ended on a good note, so I feel good," first-round leader Bertsch told reporters after carding five birdies and two bogeys on the day.

"There's definitely going to be low scores (today) so sometimes 69 is not that great. But, all-in-all, getting the birdies at the end, it feels pretty good."

American left-hander Bubba Watson, one of the late starters, was among those on track for a low score. He was nine under for the day with two holes remaining.

Thursday's scheduled action was entirely washed out by heavy rain in the La Quinta area and the second round eventually began after a delay of two-and-a-half hours on Friday.

Due to the wet conditions on all four courses, the players were permitted to lift, clean and place balls in the fairway.

"Conditions really weren't bad at all," Bertsch said. "It was real scoreable. The course played longer than normal but I only took one casual water drop all day on the last hole.

"You could find an area within one club length usually. There were a lot of puddles, so I guess it just depended on where you were."

(Writing by Mark Lamport-Stokes; Editing by Peter Rutherford)