Tony Finau arrived at the 18th tee with a chance at a course record, but his approach splashed in the water and his bogey dropped him into a second-round tie for the lead with Bud Cauley at the Valero Texas Open on Friday.
A birdie at the par-five final hole would have given Finau a share of the course record, but he settled for a seven-under 65 and is tied with Cauley at 8 under through 36 holes at TPC San Antonio.
Ian Poulter, Europe’s Ryder Cup star, missed the cut and lost his fully exempt status on the PGA Tour. He fell about $30,000 short of the required earnings to keep his status through a medical exemption because of a foot injury last year.
Cauley, a former NCAA standout at Alabama who’s yet to win through six seasons as a pro, had a lead at the halfway point after his 66 in the morning.
Cauley and Finau, winner last year at the Puerto Rico Open, both lead by one over 23-year-old Australian Cameron Smith, Kevin Chappell, Robby Shelton and veteran 1994 Texas Open winner Bob Estes.
Smith shared low round with Finau at 65, Chappell shot 68, Shelton had a 69, and 51-year-old Estes had a 69.
John Huh is six under after a 71, and he’s joined by Kevin Tway (68) and Jonathan Randolph (70).
There are seven players at five under, including first-round leader Branden Grace (73) and former Texas Open champs Jimmy Walker (69) and Martin Laird (67).
Walker, winner of the PGA Championship last summer, said he’ll start treatment for Lyme disease after this event. It may keep him from playing at New Orleans next week.
Finau holed a wedge shot from 105 yards for eagle on No. 11. A 22-foot birdie putt at 16 and a tap-in birdie on the next hole had him looking at tying the course record.
After his approach landed in shallow water in the creek fronting the 18th green, Finau played it out and chipped it past the green, rather than take the penalty drop.
“I did the same thing yesterday after going for the green (in two),” Finau said. “About half of the ball was out of the water. I got up-and-down yesterday. I know lightning doesn’t always strike twice.”
Besides Poulter, notables missing the cut included U.S. Amateur champ Curtis Luck (73-72 in his pro debut), Billy Horschel (73-74), Luke Donald (76-72), Zach Johnson (74-74) and Keegan Bradley (77-74). Defending champion Charley Hoffman, who shared the lead at the halfway point of the Masters this month, birdied his 17th hole to get to 1 under for the tournament and one shot inside the cut number.
Wieberger leads weather-delayed Shenzhen event
Bernd Wiesberger of Austria fired a bogey-free seven-under 65 to lead by four shots when the second round of the Shenzhen International was suspended due to storms on Friday.
Wiesberger completed his first round in the morning after lightning also halted play on Thursday, and birdied the par-five 17th to get within one of the lead. He added another seven birdies in round two to get to 12 under overall.
Dylan Frittelli of South Africa and Thorbjorn Olesen of Denmark carded matching rounds of 68-68 and were tied for second at eight under.
Richie Ramsay of Scotland also had a 68 and was a further shot back alongside Gregory Bourdy of France (two under through four holes) and overnight leader Bubba Watson (one under through five).
Knutzon maintains lead in Japan
Jason Knutzon of the United States fired a two-under 69 to maintain a two-stroke lead after the second round of the Panasonic Open.
Knutzon offset two bogeys with four birdies at Chiba Country Club in Noda, Japan, to finish at 9-under 133, two strokes ahead of a group of four golfers that included Juvic Pagunsan (67) of the Philippines and Hur In-hoi (68) of South Korea.
Yujiro Ohori of Japan shot the day’s lowest score of 65 and was also two strokes back with Panuphol Pittayarat (68) of Thailand. Defending champion Yuta Ikeda, who struggled to a 73 in the opening round, had a 69 to make the cut at even par.