Published January 13, 2015
Matt Kuchar stood at 5-under through 15 holes on Friday when the second round at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial was suspended due to dangerous weather.
Kuchar had climbed to 10-under par and led by one shot over Graham DeLaet. Kuchar had made the cut at this event six straight years entering this week.
DeLaet carded a 3-under 67 and was the clubhouse leader at 9-under-par 131. Steve Flesch posted one of the four 64s shot Friday and he jumped into a share of third at minus-8.
Flesch was joined there by Jordan Spieth and Josh Teater, who both shot 67 in round two. First-round leader Ryan Palmer was even-par through 12 holes to remain at minus-8.
The second round was delayed for two hours, 10 minutes earlier in the day due to lightning in the area. Play was again stopped at 7:38 p.m. (ET). The second round will resume Saturday at 8:15 a.m.
Kuchar opened the day three strokes off the lead and started his climb to the top of the leaderboard with a 2-putt birdie at the first. He made it two in a row with a short birdie putt at the second.
The 34-year-old moved to 8-under when he holed a shot from off the green at the fifth. Kuchar carded his fourth birdie of the front nine when he rolled in a 30-footer for birdie at the seventh.
Kuchar cruised around the turn with six consecutive pars. At the 14th, he dropped his approach inside seven feet and rolled that birdie putt in to grab the lead. He parred No. 15 and had just hit his tee shot to 40 feet at the 16th when the horns blew to suspend play for the day.
"It's no fun to wake up at 4:30 to get out here and play three holes. But we get used to it for what we do," Kuchar stated. "I really got off to a great start. And then I kept playing some good golf. This course can give you trouble, but if you are hitting it good, you can make some birdies out here. I was hitting it good and able to fire at some pins today."
DeLaet played the back nine first on Friday and stumbled to a bogey at the 11th. He drove into a fairway bunker, then blasted into the short grass. His third found more sand, then his fourth stopped 15 feet from the hole.
The Canadian 2-putted for bogey from there. DeLaet erased that mistake with a 15-foot birdie putt at 12. He drained a 22-footer for birdie at 14 to move to minus-7.
DeLaet, a three-time winner on the Canadian Tour, kicked off a run of three straight birdies with a short putt at the 18th. He followed with a 2-putt birdie at the first and a 6-footer for birdie on No. 2.
However, trouble loomed. DeLaet missed the green from a fairway bunker at three and that led to a bogey. His tee ball at the par-3 fourth was well wide of the target and that led to another bogey.
DeLaet came up well short of the fifth green, which led to a third consecutive bogey.
"It definitely got me today," DeLaet said of Nos. 3, 4 and 5, which is known as the Horrible Horseshoe.
He closed his round in style however. At the eighth, his 17th, DeLaet poured in a 28-foot for birdie before rolling in an 11-foot birdie effort at the ninth to finish at minus-9.
"I played well on my first nine. I stumbled a bit on the second nine, and just wanted to make a par at the sixth ... to calm the nerves. Great birdies at eight and nine to finish," said DeLaet.
NOTES: Fifty-four players will finish their second rounds on Saturday ... the cut line is projected to fall at 1-under par ... If that holds Ricky Barnes, Charl Schwartzel, David Toms, Trevor Immelman, Davis Love III and Stewart Cink would be among those missing the cut.