Morgan Leads Weather-Hampered Event


Gil Morgan is 6-under through 16 holes as severe weather forced the suspension of the first round of the Allianz Championship in Des Moines, IA.
Thunderstorms delayed the start of Friday's first round by four hours and a second storm stopped play for over two hours during the round. Darkness forced play to be called for the day at 8:49 p.m. ET.
Fifty-one players will return to Glen Oaks Country Club Saturday morning to complete their first rounds.
Mike McCullough and Bob Gilder share the lead in the clubhouse with 3-under 68s.
Morgan used solid 9-iron play on his front side to get to 4-under. He knocked it to six feet on three, six and eight and another great approach resulted in a three-foot birdie at No. 7.
His drive was unplayable at the 10th and he was forced to take bogey. Morgan recovered with a pair of eight-foot birdies at 11 and 12 and then chipped to a foot to set up birdie at the par-5 15th.
Despite the lead, Morgan is still cautious about his status in the tournament.
'You're always concerned if you're going to continue it the next day,' Morgan said. 'I don't want to go out and make a mistake early and put myself in a bad frame of mind.'
The course was evacuated of all crowd members and tournament volunteers Friday. The only people on the course were club members and some people that live in houses on the course.
'We had a few people, so it wasn't just disastrous,' Morgan said. 'At the same time, if you're playing well, you'd like to have some people there to appreciate some of the shots you're making.'
McCullough drained birdie putts from 50 feet, 30 feet and two from 20 feet, including his birdie on 18 but felt the effects of the day.
'It's a long day. You guys feel it, we do, too,' said McCullough, who came to the course expecting to tee off at 9:30 a.m. but did not leave the course until after 8:00 p.m. 'It was a good, solid seven hours of golf and concentrating a lot, which was hard to do.'
Steve Veriato, Jim Thorpe and Bobby Walzel are 3-under-par and will need to complete their rounds on Saturday.