Mother Nature did all she could to wreak havoc on the TPC Four Seasons Resort in Irving, Texas, but the PGA Tour AT&T Byron Nelson event was able to get everyone on the course Friday and most of the field finished their round before darkness set in.
Steven Bowditch held the first-round lead after shooting a 62, but he didn't even get on the course until after 4 p.m. Eastern Time. He was able to complete his round, maintaining a share of the lead with two other players heading into the third round.
Here's how the leaderboard stands after the long-delayed second round:
Texas has been hit hard by heavy rainfall throughout the month of May, with NBC News citing the National Weather Service as estimating 35 trillion gallons of rain has fallen.
According to the PGA Tour's official Twitter, another 4.5 inches of rain came overnight on Thursday:
The rain ended up resulting in the second round being delayed by three hours. It also forced the grounds crew to make some alterations to the course, most notably the 14th hole, as this video from the PGA Tour shows:
Because of the changes on No. 14, par was changed from 70 to 69 in order to accommodate the shorter hole.
Once players were able to get on the course, there were low scores popping up. Jon Curran moved into sole possession of the lead for a short period of time thanks to a 63 in which he fired a 29 on the back nine and had a run of three consecutive birdies from No. 14 through 16.
Per Kelly Tilghman of the Golf Channel, a win by Curran this weekend would have significance in more ways than one:
The 28-year-old has flirted with winning already this season, losing in a five-man playoff at the Puerto Rico Open in March. There's a lot of golf left to play, but this is an encouraging 36-hole start for the young American.
Another player who was able to get his round in early and play well was local Texas boy Jordan Spieth, who enters Saturday tied for 11th place after a stellar 64. He ended the round on a high note with a birdie that was set up by this brilliant approach shot, via PGA Tour:
It was an excellent turnaround for Spieth, who wasn't happy with how he played on Thursday with a one-under 69. Here's what he told Mike McAllister of PGATour.com after the opening round:
Just a golf course that may not fit my game as well. Doesn’t mean I can’t play as well. Just I’m struggling getting the ball close to the hole. ...
These crosswinds, I have a hard time trusting a high ball. I typically play a ball low. You can try and punch them out here, but it’s hard to get to these back pins. We had a lot of tricky pins today and some of these bunkers, I can’t fly, and I just find myself playing better on courses where you have to maneuver different ball flights.
Whatever changed for Spieth overnight, it seemed to work. The 2015 Masters champion has never been a long hitter, so his short game and putting is essential to his success.
A win this weekend would also hold special significance for Spieth, as ESPN's Jason Sobel noted the 21-year-old has never won in his home state:
With Rory McIlroy struggling after missing another cut on the European Tour, Spieth has a chance to put a dent atop the world golf rankings. He won't become the top-ranked player with a win, though it's good to see him bouncing back with six strong rounds after missing the cut at The Players Championship.
In the evening crowd, Bowditch and Jimmy Walker joined Curran atop the leaderboard. Bowditch was all over the map with seven birdies and six bogeys, but he's still able to cruise off that opening-round 62 to stay in a tie for first place.
All things considered, Friday turned out to be a good day. Most of the field got to finish the second round, limiting the holes that will need to be squeezed in early Saturday before regular play will begin.
Curran, Walker and Bowditch certainly have a lot of work to do, with Cameron Percy and Ryan Palmer just one shot behind and five others at seven under par. Spieth proved on Friday that he's capable of making a big run.
Assuming the weather holds out, Saturday is shaping up to be critical for all of the contenders. No one can win the tournament in the third round, but staying close to the lead will be essential given all the unknown factors that could come into play over the next two days.