PGA: Kuchar leads DeLaet by a shot at storm-hit Colonial


Sun, May 26, 2013 - Page 18

Matt Kuchar moved atop the leaderboard of the weather-hit Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial on Friday, moving to 10-under through 15 holes when play was halted for the day.

Kuchar was one shot in front of clubhouse leader Graham DeLaet, who played early and completed a three-under 67 for a nine-under total of 131.

Canada’s DeLaet finished his round before a delay for threatening weather halted play for more than two hours.

He teed off on 10 and his round included three straight birdies at the 18th, first and second, before he made three bogeys at Colonial’s “Horrible Horseshoe” of holes — three, four and five.

“It definitely got me today,” DeLaet said of the stretch of holes that is traditionally Colonial’s toughest.

However, he capped his round with birdies at eight and nine.

At the eighth, his 17th, DeLaet drained a 28-footer for birdie, then poured in an 11-footer at the ninth.

“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,” he said. “Great birdies at eight and nine to finish.”

His nearest rivals in the clubhouse were Jordan Spieth (67), Josh Teater (67) and Steve Flesch (64) on eight-under 132.

Ryan Palmer was eight-under through 12 holes when play was halted for a second time late in the day, with organizers opting to suspend the round for the night.

Palmer, the overnight leader after a sizzling 62 on Thursday, was at nine-under for the tournament until a double-bogey at the par-four fifth, where he had to take a penalty shot after a wayward shot off the tee.

He then followed with a bogey at the sixth, but got back on track with birdies at 10 and 12.

Kuchar was a bogey-free five-under through 15 holes for the day.

Kuchar opened his round with a two-putt birdie at the first and then made a short birdie putt at the second.

He holed a shot from off the green at the fifth and made a 30-footer for birdie at the seventh, before picking up another at 14.

“I really got off to a great start and then I kept playing some good golf,” Kuchar said. “This course can give you trouble, but if you are hitting it good, you can make some birdies out here.”

The American had just struck his tee shot at the par-three 16th when the horn blew.

The 54 players who were on the course were to resume the second round yesterday morning.

Spieth’s 67 came despite a one-stroke penalty assessed after his ball fell into a spike mark on the sixth green after he addressed it.

“It’s an unfortunate ruling,” Spieth said. “That’s just how it goes.”