Couples leads at rain-drenched Senior Players Championship
Seattle native Fred Couples leads the Senior Players Championship; a sudden downpour suspended second-round play with most of the field still on the course.
The Associated Press
PITTSBURGH – Seattle native Fred Couples roared through his first 11 holes in the second round of the Senior Players Championship on Friday, making seven birdies at waterlogged Fox Chapel to take the lead.
Then the weather managed to do what the defenseless course could not, stopping the Hall of Famer with a sudden downpour that suspended play for the day with most of the field in the 50-and-older event still on the course.
The stoppage came shortly after Couples hit his tee shot on the par-3 third hole. The sky cleared in about an hour, but with fairways and bunkers resembling ponds and the threat of more storms looming, officials decided to send players home rather than wait out a lengthy delay to squeeze in a few more holes.
Couples, 53, understood the call but noted he was in the middle of something special when play was stopped.
“Rounds like this don’t happen very often,” he said.
Instead Couples was left to mull a 60-foot birdie putt that awaits when he and the 65 other players whose rounds were interrupted return to the course at 5 a.m. PDT Saturday.
“I was hitting the ball well,” said Couples, who was at 11 under. “But you can look at the bright side tomorrow and hope to get it going again.”
First-round leader John Huston was at 9 under after making an eagle from the rough on the par-4 15th hole.
Kirk Triplett, a graduate of Pullman High School, was tied for 40th place at 1 over with four holes to play.
Couples stressed he won’t be getting ahead of himself as he searches for his second victory at Senior Players, one of the Champions Tour’s five majors. He led at the halfway point on the same course last year, shooting a second-round 63 only to fade and finish fourth behind winner Joe Daley.
• Inbee Park led the U.S. Women’s Open in Southampton, N.Y., with the second round suspended by fog.
The top-ranked Park shot a 4-under 68 for a 9-under total to lead fellow South Korean I.K. Kim (69) by two strokes.
Park is seeking to win the year’s first three LPGA Tour majors; no one has accomplished that feat in a season with at least four. She has five victories this season.
• Jordan Spieth, a 19-year-old Texan, extended his streak to 29 holes without a bogey on a tough Congressional course, giving him a 5-under 66 and a share of the lead with Roberto Castro (69) before storms halted the second round of the PGA Tour AT&T National in Bethesda, Md.
They were at 7-under 135, with the round to be completed Saturday morning.
Players with scores of 2 over and better are projected to make the cut. Ex-Washington Husky Richard H. Lee was at 1 over with seven holes to play. Former UW player Chris Williams, competing in his second event as a pro, was at 5 over (78-69—147). A mere five players who finished the second round had a better score than Williams’ 69 Friday.
• Assistant club pro Michael Bembenick had a rough start in a Web.com Tour event. After making one last double bogey in the United Leasing Championship in Newburgh, Ind., he signed for a 103.
Bembenick, 27, who works at Meridian Hills Country Club in Indianapolis, was named the Assistant Golf Professional of the Year in Indiana in 2012. This was his Web.com Tour debut. He opened with an 89, and made 13 double bogeys, three triple bogeys and a quadruple bogey in 36 holes.