The second round of the AT&T National, delayed by a wave of thunderstorms that began moving through Bethesda on Friday afternoon, will resume at 7 a.m. Saturday, with much to be determined about who will be around for the rest of the weekend.
When play was suspended at 2:44 p.m. Friday, 63 players remained on the course. After three hours, there was a break in the storms, and officials sent players to the range to warm up – only to be called back in when another band of storms moved through.
The disruption means the cut – projected Friday at 2-over par 144 – won’t be made until Saturday morning, with the third round beginning at approximately 10:50 a.m. The delay to the start of the third round also forced PGA Tour officials to play the third round in threesomes from both the first and 10th tees, rather than the traditional pairs from the first tee only.
Such a development, which has been common on the PGA Tour this year, puts players’ plans in disarray. Because the cut – which keeps the top 60 players and those tied for 60th in the field for the weekend – could move Saturday morning, players at 3-over par who have completed their rounds have to stick around an extra day, even though they might not hit another shot.
So much is to be determined Saturday morning. Among those in danger of missing – or certain to miss – the cut: K.J. Choi, the 2007 AT&T National champ who shot 76 Friday and is 4 over; Hunter Mahan, the 2009 runner-up here whose 72 Friday left him 5 over; and last year’s runner-up Bo Van Pelt, who opened with 79 Thursday, made two birdies on his front side to get to 6 over, but has more work to do in his final nine holes when play resumes.
Those who are likely safe include Masters champ Adam Scott, who followed his opening 73 with an even-par 71 to sit at 2 over.
When Gary Woodland took his first PGA Tour victory in 2011 in Tampa, he appeared to be a rising star. An athletic Kansan and former college basketball player who hits the ball to places unconsidered by most players, Woodland finished that season with six top-10 finishes and an appearance in the season-ending FedEx Cup playoffs.
Since, though, has been filled with both change and struggle. Woodland changed agents, joining Mark Steinberg, who also serves Tiger Woods; coaches, joining Butch Harmon and his son Claude; and equipment, joining Callaway. Worse, though, he had a ruptured cyst on his left wrist and strained muscles in his right hand.
The result: just one top-10 finish since 2012 began.
“All the changes added up,” Woodland said. “If I didn’t get hurt, I think everything would’ve been fine. The injuries kind of made everything else bigger than it was.”
This week has been a welcome return to form for Woodland, who shot 69 Friday to sit at 3 under, tied for seventh headed into the weekend.
“I’m excited about my game,” he said. “I think I’m starting to string rounds together.” . . .
Patrick Reed, the PGA Tour rookie whose wife, Justine, serves as his caddie, birdied six of his first eight holes Friday to get to 1 under for the tournament. Reed has eight holes to play when the second round resumes. . . .
Charlie Beljan shot 84 in Thursday’s opening round, and when he didn’t show up for his 7:16 a.m. tee time, he was disqualified. . . . Justin Hicks withdrew Friday with a back injury, the fourth withdrawal of the tournament. Davis Love III (hip), Rory Sabatini (back) and Vaughn Taylor (back) all withdrew Thursday – Love after he shot 83, Sabatini and Taylor in the middle of the first round.