Levi Leads Suspended Sr PGA

By Associated PressMay 28, 2004, 4:00 pm
04 Senior PGA ChampionshipLOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Wayne Levi made four birdies just before the second round was suspended because of darkness Friday and held a one-shot lead in the rain-delayed Senior PGA Championship.
The 52-year-old Levi was one of 72 players who completed his first round late at Valhalla Golf Club on Friday afternoon. Levi shot an opening 69, then made the four birdies through the first 11 holes of his second round to move to 6 under.
Gil Morgan was 5 under through nine holes on his second round when a horn signaled the end of play at 8:44 p.m. EDT. Hale Irwin and Tom Watson, among 78 players who did not begin their second rounds Friday, were another stroke back.
First-round co-leader Jay Haas bogeyed two of his last four holes Friday and was one of three players at 3 under.
The second round was scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. EDT Saturday. PGA officials were hoping to complete the third round as well.
Heavy rain has hampered the tournament since Wednesday afternoon, when a thunderstorm postponed practice rounds.
A powerful storm struck Thursday night and Floyd's Fork, the creek that runs through the course, spilled over its banks. Several fairways flooded and grassy parking lots turned into mud pits.
Course superintendent Mark Wilson said the course has absorbed more than 5 inches of rain this week, but the playing areas have sustained no serious damage.
However, on Friday morning, many spectator areas and tents were swamped and some television satellite trucks were surrounded by water in a low-lying parking area. Divers tied ropes to flooded cars for a tow truck to pull them out.
Sunny skies the rest of the day aided cleanup efforts, and play finally resumed at 4:30 p.m.
Kerry Haigh, the PGA's managing director of tournaments, said the PGA wanted to avoid cutting the tournament to 54 holes and would finish the tournament Monday, if necessary.
'This is a major championship and we intend to play 72 holes,' Haigh said.
The 2000 Senior PGA Championship, played at Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., was shortened to 54 holes after seven storm delays.
Haas and Morgan, who completed their first rounds on Friday, matched the 4-under 67s shot by Irwin and Watson on Thursday.
Haas and Morgan were both on No. 7, a par-5, when the first round was stopped because of rain. When play resumed, Morgan lofted a pitch from the rough right of the green to 6 feet and made the putt to join the leaders at 4 under.
He made a 12-foot birdie putt on No. 8, then bogeyed nine.
'I made the one error on the last hole,' Morgan said. 'Other than that, I kept it in play fairly well.'
Haas, a PGA Tour regular making his debut as a senior, was playing in the group behind Morgan. He reached the 586-yard seventh in two and two-putted, then knocked an 8-iron within a foot on the 166-yard eighth. He parred nine to make a foursome at 4 under.
'Overall, I can't be more pleased,' said Haas, who has four top-10 finishes on the regular tour this year.
Haas arrived at the course at 6 a.m. Friday, left, came back at 10 a.m. and then waited out the delay.
'I ate several times, I did a crossword puzzle, I worked out,' said Haas, who turned 50 in December. 'It went pretty slowly, but I had enough buddies in there. We made the best of it.'
Related Links:
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