JERSEY CITY, New Jersey: Matt Kuchar completed a round of six-under-par 65 early yesterday morning to claim a two-stroke lead after 36 holes of The Barclays, the opening event of the FedExCup play-offs.
Kuchar was at 11-under-par 131, with 2012 US Open champion Webb Simpson and long-hitting Gary Woodland tied for second at nine-under 133 at the halfway mark of the weather-hit tournament.
World number six Kuchar returned with 39 other players to complete the second round in windy conditions and put the event back on schedule after thunderstorms caused more than six hours of delays on Friday’s opening day.
The 35-year-old Kuchar birdied three of the five holes he had left to play, rolling in a 28-footer at the par-three 14th, and bogeyed the two others including the 18th.
“I was kind of hoping for nice, still conditions this morning, and some really good scoring conditions,” said Kuchar, who has wins at the WGC-Accenture Match Play and the Memorial tournament this season.
“And 15, 20-mile-an-hour (winds, it was a little more challenging.”
Kuchar will return to the course in the afternoon for the third round as scheduled.
World number one, Tiger Woods, playing in the same group as Kuchar, missed a 13-foot putt for birdie when play resumed at 14 after the suspension due to darkness, but birdied the 17th to improve to six under par, five shots off the pace.
South African Charl Schwartzel, the 2011 Masters winner, completed a second-round 67 to reach seven-under 135, a total he shared with reigning Masters champion Adam Scott of Australia, 2011 PGA champion Keegan Bradley and Rickie Fowler.
Twice major winner Rory McIlroy returned yesterday to complete a 65 that featured eight birdies to join a group of nine at 136.
Along with world number one Woods, the group also included US Open champion Justin Rose and fellow Briton David Lynn, Spain’s Sergio Garcia, Sweden’s Freddie Jacobson and Jonas Blixt, Brandon de Jonge of Zimbabwe and American Jim Furyk.
Among those missing it were former US Open winner Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland (143), England’s Ian Poulter (145) and American Brandt Snedeker (143), who entered the event in third place on the FedExCup points list.REUTERS