HOUSTON (Reuters) - First-round leader Matt Jones of Australia bogeyed his last hole on Saturday to slip into a four-way tie for the lead at the halfway mark of the rain-hit Texas Open at the Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio.
Jones, who posted a 66 in Thursday's opening round, came back after Friday's rainout and shot one-under-par 71 for a seven-under 137 total he shared with compatriot James Nitties and Americans Brett Wetterich and Jimmy Walker.
Nitties registered five birdies in a flawless round of 67 to match the score posted by Walker. Wetterich had a see-saw day of seven birdies and three bogeys for 68.
Twenty-eight players are within four shots of the lead. Players will go off split tees in groups of three on Sunday in the hope of getting in all 36 remaining holes of the tournament.
Seven players were tied on six under par, including Australian Aron Price, South African Garth Mulroy and U.S. Ryder Cup player J.B. Holmes.
Moving into contention was world number seven Ernie Els of South Africa, the top-ranked player in the field, who shot 68 for five-under-par 139.
Zach Johnson, the 2007 U.S. Masters champion who was trying to emulate Arnold Palmer by winning the event for a third year in a row, rebounded from a miserable opening round to shoot 68 but could not recover from his first-round 80.
Johnson's four-over-par total of 148 put him three strokes beyond the cut.
(Writing by Larry Fine in New York, Editing by Peter Rutherford)