Weather Problems Continue in Arkansas


Fort Smith, Ark. -- Victor Schwamkrug and Marco Dawson held the clubhouse lead at the Buy.Com Fort Smith Classic, where thunderstorms and lightning hampered play for the second straight day at Hardscrabble Country Club.
Friday's second round was suspended due to darkness at 9:28 P.M., with only half the field able to start their second set of 18 holes. Play is scheduled to resume Saturday at 8:15 A.M.
Tournament officials hope to have the second round completed by mid-afternoon Saturday, at which time the cut will be made, with the low 60 players and ties advancing to play the final 36 holes.
Assuming the weather cooperates, round three will be completed Saturday and the final round will be held on Sunday.
But the weather didn't pull any punches on Thursday, as morning rain and afternoon lightning limited the total playing time to under three hours. The first round was suspended for the day and wasn't completed until just after 7 P.M. on Friday.
Lightning also forced Friday's play to be interrupted for about an hour and 40 minutes.
Grover Justice seized the first-round lead with a 6-under-par 64, while Todd Fischer, Craig Spence, Ron Whittaker, Travis Williams and Steve Runge shared second place with 5-under 65s. Eleven others, including former University of Arkansas standout Tag Ridings, finished two shots off the pace.
When play in the second round was halted Friday evening, Runge was atop the leaderboard at 7-under through 12 holes. The winner of the 2000 Richmond Open offset two birdies with a pair of bogeys, but managed to post an eagle on par-5 3rd hole for the second straight round.
John Engler, who had a 67 his first time around Hardscrabble, pulled alongside Justice at 6-under with four birdies and a bogey through 16 holes. Justice was among the 72 players who didn't start the second round on Friday.
Schwamkrug and Dawson were among only six players to complete the second round, although they may wish they didn't. They each bogeyed their final hole, the par-4 9th, and posted 36-hole totals of 5-under-par 135.
Full field scores from the Fort Smith Classic