PITTSFORD, N.Y. (AP) — Defending champion Paul Broadhurst and Esteban Toledo shared the lead Friday two rounds into the Senior PGA Championship.
Another day of unsettled weather led to a shuffle of the leaderboard with Broadhurst and Toledo vaulting 15 players at the major event. Both shot 3-under 67 to reach 3-under 137 at Oak Hill Country Club’s East Course.
Broadhurst, who won last year’s tournament at Harbor Shores in southwest Michigan, carded a bogey-free round. Starting on the back nine, he birdied his first two holes — the par-4 10th and par-3 11th — and added a birdie on the par-4 seventh. The 53-year-old Englishman has five PGA Tour Champions victories, also winning a major at the 2016 Senior British Open.
Toledo had five birdies and two bogeys. The 56-year-old from Mexico won the last of his four senior titles in 2016.
First-round leader Scott Parel and Retief Goosen were two strokes back.
Parel shot 73, making consecutive double bogeys on Nos. 17 and 18. Goosen had a 72.
There were 21 players within six shots of the leaders. The group includes Jesper Parnevik and Rocco Mediate at 2 over, and Corey Pavin and Brandt Jobe among seven players at 3 over.
The narrow 6,800-yard East Course reclaimed its stingy reputation on a day that featured a chilly start and temperatures remaining mostly in the 60s, overcast conditions and a swirling wind. The breeze didn’t die down until the sun came out in the late afternoon.
After 15 players carded sub-par scores in the opening round, only four managed to shoot in the 60s on Friday. Aside from Broadhurst and Toledo, Champions Tour money leader Scott McCarron and Mike Goodes both shot 69 to move into a tie for 42nd.
The cut was set at 9-over 149, halving the 156-player field to 78 entering the weekend.
There’s more unsettled weather in store for the third round. With thunderstorms in the forecast Saturday afternoon, officials moved up the third-round tee times to between 7 and 9:12 a.m., with groups going out in threes rather than twos. A series of late-morning storms led to the opening round being delayed by 2 hours, 15 minutes.
Mother Nature clearly favored the players who teed off Thursday morning and Friday afternoon. They accounted for 26 of the 29 players who are 4 over or better through two rounds.
Marco Dawson was among the few from the Thursday-afternoon/Friday-morning groups to be in contention with a two-round score of 1-over 141.
After opening with a bogey-free round of 3 under, Dawson went 4 over on Friday in a round he closed with five bogeys — four on his final eight holes — with a lone birdie on the 439-yard par-4 16th.
“It’s two different tournaments right now. It’s probably a four to six shot difference,” Dawson said of the differing conditions.
On Thursday, the afternoon group faced a stiff wind, with gusts ranging from 15 to 25 mph. By comparison, the morning group saw hardly a whiff of a breeze.
Dawson looked forward to Saturday, knowing the entire field will be essentially facing similar conditions and with him still in contention.
“After I walked off, I didn’t like the 74, but I thought, ‘You’re still in it,'” the 2015 Senior Open Championship winner said. “I didn’t shoot myself in the foot by any means. I’m still there.”
The disparity between the two groups wasn’t lost on Broadhurst.
“Oh, absolutely. The guys on my side of the draw had a sort of a raver with the weather,” he said. “The course is never going to play that easy again with 3 under leading. If we get any sort of wind, level par would be a real good number to post.”
Broadhurst, who finished with a 19-under 265 at last year’s major, is in contention to win consecutive titles for the first time since Colin Montgomerie did it in 2014-15. The tournament has had repeat champions seven times in its previous 79 years, including Hale Irwin’s three-year winning streak from 1996-98.
John Daly, who has a medical exemption to ride in a cart due to a knee injury, summed up numerous players’ frustrations. Entering the scoring area after shooting 4 over for a two-round score of 13-over 153, Daly grumbled and said: “I’m glad that’s over.”
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