Wagner shot a 3-under 69 on Friday to take the outright lead in the Houston Open before an afternoon storm delayed play for an hour and 45 minutes. More rain came later and the second round was suspended at 7:25 p.m. with 36 players still on the course.
Wagner was safely in at 12 under, three ahead of Charley Hoffman (70) and Mathew Goggin, who shot a 64 to continue the remarkable history of Australians at the tournament. Chad Campbell was at 7 under after matching Goggins 64 in the breezy, sunny morning.
Defending champion Adam Scott, who shared the first-round lead with Wagner after they set the course record with 9-under 63s, had five bogeys and a double in a 76.
Scott bogeyed No. 2, his first at the Tournament Course at Redstone in 56 holes dating to last years second round. He was playing the fifth hole when play was halted just before 2 p.m.
The round resumed at 3:34 p.m., with the course softened, but the temperature more than 20 degrees cooler. Scott missed the green with his tee shot on the par-3 ninth, then drove into the water on the 11th to slip to 6 under. He birdied 15 and 16 before finishing bogey-double bogey.
Phil Mickelson beat the bad weather and shot a 68 on Friday, but he was eight behind the leader, whos looking for his first victory in 45 career starts.
The 28-year-old Wagner admits hell have to control his emotions over the weekend as he tries to win a trip to the Masters.
You have to use it to your advantage, Wagner said. Nerves dont have to be a bad thing. They can always be a good thing.
He stayed in a house off the first hole at Augusta in 2004 and played 36 holes two straight days. During one round, his approach to the par-5 15th plugged in the side of the bank.
His great uncle promised that would never happen during the Masters. Wagner is determined to find out for himself.
I definitely know Im going to be there some time, whether its next week or five years from now, he said. I look forward to playing there in the tournament.
Wagner was in the second group to tee off Friday morning and he moved to 12 under on his opening nine. He got up and down from a greenside bunker on the par-5 fourth, sank a 6-footer for birdie on the 5th and added another birdie on the par-5 eighth, the third-easiest hole during the first round.
He sliced his drive into the water on the par-4 11th and bogeyed, then got the stroke back with a birdie on 13.
Wagner was born in Amarillo and that gives him an edge'Texas natives have won six Houston Opens.
On the other hand, six Aussies have won eight Houston Opens, including Scott last year and Stuart Appleby in 2006. Appleby was the runner-up to Scott in 2007.
Goggin offered nothing more than a tongue-in-cheek theory on why Australians have had so much success here.
Maybe were just better on courses you dont have to think around, he said. You just smash it and go find it. You dumb it down for us and we do all right.
Goggin blames erratic putting for his up-and-down year'two top-20 finishes and two missed cuts in eight starts. He finished tied for 50th in New Orleans last week and came to Houston ranked 136th in putts per round (29.62).
He solved that issue on the fifth hole Friday by holing an 8-iron shot from the fairway and holing a bunker shot for another eagle on the par-5 eighth.
All of a sudden, I didnt hit a bad shot for the rest of the day, he said.
Goggin added birdies on 10, 12, 13 and 15 and wrapped up his round with only 25 putts.
Hoffman birdied 4, 5 and 10 to get to 10 under. But he dunked a tee shot in the water on 12, then blasted a bunker shot over the 13th green for back-to-back bogeys. He birdied the par-5 15th to get back to 9 under.
Davis Love III, needing a win to qualify for the Masters, was 3 under after two rounds. Love has started 70 consecutive major championships, the longest active streak. John Daly played seven holes Friday, then withdrew because of a back injury. Rocco Mediate, Jim McGovern and George McNeill also withdrew with injuries. Alejandro Canizares took a 12 on the par-4 18th after hitting four tee shots into the water.