Sun, Apr 20, 2014 - Page 19 News List

South Korea’s Choi beats weather to take Heritage lead


K.J. Choi hits a tee shot on the seventh hole during the second round of the RBC Heritage on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, on Friday.

Photo: AFP

South Korea’s K.J. Choi wielded a hot putter to vault into the clubhouse lead during the second round at the US$5.8 million RBC Heritage in South Carolina on Friday.

Choi made use of his advantageous early tee time, holing several long shots on his way to a four-under-par 67 at Harbour Town on Hilton Head Island.

Conditions were not easy on a breezy morning, but Choi at least beat the worst of the weather to post a five-under 137 halfway total before play was suspended.

Half the field completed the round before torrential rain halted competition just before 3pm. First-round joint leader Matt Kuchar was among those forced off the course.

“I’m very happy finishing before the rain,” Choi told “Even in the morning it’s very tough, wind blowing. Today the putting, I make a lot.”

Choi, 43, has won seven times on the PGA Tour, though only once since 2008.

His halfway score was two shots better than Englishman Luke Donald (69) and the US’ Billy Hurley (69) and Scott Langley (73).

Former world No. 1 Donald is ideally suited to the tight Harbor Town course, where precision is more important than power.

He has a remarkable record, albeit without winning, having finished second or third four times in the past five years.

“If I’d got hot with the putter it could have been really special, but still a very solid round and glad I’m done [because it] looks like the weather is only going to get worse,” Donald said. “You’ve got to keep it in play and plot your way around this course. That’s why I’ve had some success here.”

As the late starters bid their time waiting for the rain to pass, the PGA Tour predicted that action would resume later in the day.

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