Stegmaier leads as darkness falls in Vegas


Low scores continued during the second round of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, where the leaderboard is littered with players eyeing a breakthrough victory. Here's how things look at TPC Summerlin, where second-round play was suspended because of darkness:

Leaderboard: Brett Stegmaier (-11 through 15 holes), Tyler Aldridge (-10), Chad Campbell (-10), Morgan Hoffmann (-10), Jimmy Walker (-9), Brendon de Jonge (-9), Nick Watney (-9)

What it means: Stegmaier's story is one of determination, as he briefly gave up the game a few years back before returning to the professional ranks. He barely qualified for the Tour Finals, then earned his card through the four-event series and now finds his name atop the leaderboard in just his second start as a PGA Tour member.

Round of the day: Stegmaier opened with a 5-under 66 but put on a ball-striking clinic during the second round, finding the green in regulation on each of his first 16 holes. His eagle on No. 16 was sandwiched between birdies on Nos. 13, 14 and 18, and when Stegmaier returns at 8 a.m. he will face a 13-foot putt on No. 7 to get to 12 under.

Best of the rest: Rickie Fowler appeared to be headed for an early exit, but he caught fire with a back-nine 30 to make the cut. Fowler's second-round 65 included a 79-foot bomb for eagle on No. 13 to go along with four birdies on his inward half. At 5 under, Fowler trails by six.

Biggest disappointment: Brendon Todd got off to a great start with an opening 65, but it all fell apart during the second round. Todd stumbled to a 6-over 77, including four bogeys on the back nine, and at even par he missed the projected cut by two shots despite the promising start.

Main storyline heading into Saturday: Stegmaier's tale is certainly compelling, but the chase pack features two big names with a penchant for success in Sin City. Walker finished T-4 at this event last year and is known for making the most of the fall portion of the schedule, while Watney's Vegas record includes a runner-up in 2011 and a T-16 finish last year. He is looking for his first win since The Barclays in 2012.

Shot of the day: Tony Finau's approach to the par-5 13th wasn't just the shot of the day, but it was the best shot of the young season. Finau's 5-iron from 235 yards found the target, going in for an albatross. The shot was a certain highlight, but it didn't help him make the cut as Finau made two subsequent double bogeys and finished the week at 1 under.

Quote of the day: "Finally got a few things to go my way. Nice to have a tee time tomorrow." - Fowler