NEWS

Jhonattan Vegas shoots 68 to set standard at soggy Riviera

By Doug Ferguson
Published on

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jhonattan Vegas returned in the rain at Riviera on Saturday morning, finished with four pars for a 3-under 68 and then had to wait for the next six hours to see where that would leave him halfway through the Genesis Open.

The second round was halted because of rain and wind that snapped large limbs from eucalyptus trees. The last shot Vegas hit was so far left he struggled to even find his golf ball on the 15th hole. He wound up making a 25-foot par putt when he returned, and finished two rounds at 7-under 135.

He was tied with Sam Saunders, though the grandson of Arnold Palmer had not hit a shot since his 7-under 64 on Thursday.

Jordan Spieth finished with two pars for a 68 — his 19th consecutive round under par on the PGA Tour — and was two shots behind Vegas. Cameron Percy (71) also was at 5-under 137, along with Jason Kokrak.

The second round faced another two-hour delay Saturday morning to get debris cleaned up and water out of the bunkers. Play finally got going in another light rain, possibly leading to more delays if the course can't handle any more water.

The course received 3 inches of rain.

Six players who stood little chance of making the cut didn't bother returning Saturday morning. That included defending champion Bubba Watson, who had two holes remaining and was 8 over for the tournament.

Two of the withdrawals were sponsor exemptions — Bryson DeChambeau, who had a hand injury; and Jinho Choi, who was 10 over for his round through 11 holes.

Spieth is coming off a victory at Pebble Beach and was thrilled with his score considering how he drove the ball.

"Man, I hit it short and crooked those 2 ½ days and was able to shoot 5 under," he said. "So get that figured out and see how far back we are once the second round is complete, and then we'll just try and do something special on the weekend."

Dustin Johnson played his second round in the afternoon in the rain. He made two early birdies to reach 7 under. Johnson, who has had a chance to win four of the last five years at Riviera, needs a victory to possibly reach No. 1 in the world ranking. That would depend on Jason Day, who opened with a pair of 70s and was at 2-under 140.

The PGA Tour hoped to finish the second round and make a 36-hole cut, then start the third round Saturday afternoon and get in as much golf as possible. Officials were still optimistic, without any more delays, of finishing 72 holes. Otherwise, play would spill into Monday.

The other possibility was to reduce the cut to lowest numbers of players to 60th place, but that would apply only if the intention was to play all 36 holes on Sunday.

Copyright (2017) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.