Molder keeps lead in suspended Colonial
FORT WORTH, Texas — Bryce Molder would have a magical number if he could combine his front-nine scores through two days at Colonial into one round.
Bolstered by 11 combined birdies on Nos. 1-9 at Hogan's Alley, Molder had a one-stroke lead with three holes to play Friday in the Dean & Deluca Invitational when second-round play was suspended because of darkness.
"It was kind of tale of two nines even though I didn't finish the second nine," Molder said. "The first nine was really clean. ... Everything was going right."
At 9 under, Molder was a stroke ahead of Webb Simpson and two in front of second-ranked Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed. Simpson and Spieth completed their rounds.
Molder was the first-round leader after an opening 64 with six birdies on the front nine. He had five more birdies on that side Friday, which would translate to a 59 — that is the best score ever shot on the PGA Tour.
"You know, I thought about that when I was on No. 6 today," Molder said. "That was fun. I mean, I wish I could have just turned back around, teed off on No. 1 and just kept going because that side has been really good to me."
Play was stopped at 8:21 p.m. with 61 of the 121 players still on the course. They will return to complete the second round this morning, scheduled to resume just more than 11 hours after stopping. The third round will be played after the cut is made.
Simpson was 8 under after a 67.
Spieth shot a 66 with four birdies in five holes after turning to the front nine.
Reed had 10 holes left. He has a PGA Tour-high eight top-10 finishes this season.
Spieth goes into the weekend in contention at home for the second week in a row, and at Colonial for the second year in a row. He tied for second in the 2015 Colonial, one stroke behind Chris Kirk.
The 22-year-old Dallas native was a stroke out of the lead after two rounds last week at the Byron Nelson, and was alone in second going into the final round before a closing 74 that left him tied for 18th.
This week, Spieth said he is much more comfortable with his swing and his game overall midway through the tournament.
"Much better, yeah. I'd say it's up there close to if I want to have it 100 percent trust by major time. It's creeping up," said Spieth, the defending U.S. Open champ playing his third tournament since blowing a five-stroke lead on the back nine when trying to win his second consecutive Masters last month. "Big step up from last week. It's getting close."
CHAMPIONS: At Benton Harbor, Mich., Rocco Mediate stretched his Senior PGA Championship lead to four strokes at Harbor Shores, birdieing the final two holes for a 5-under 66.
Mediate had a 14-under 128 total, four strokes better than the previous tournament record set by Sam Snead in 1973 and matched by Arnold Palmer in 1984 and Jack Nicklaus in 1991. The 53-year-old Mediate opened with a 62 on Thursday to tie the tournament and course records set by Kenny Perry in the 2012 final round on the Nicklaus-designed layout.
Gene Sauers was second, closing with a bogey for a 69.
Bernhard Langer birdied three of his last four holes in a 64 to reach 9 under in his bid to become the first player to win all five senior majors.
John Daly missed the cut with rounds of 75 and 74.
LPGA: At Ann Arbor, Mich., Ariya Jutanugarn remained in position for her third straight LPGA Tour victory, shooting a 4-under 68 to take a two-shot lead in the Volvik Championship.
Jutanugarn had four back-nine birdies, including No. 18 when her approach went off a hospitality suite and landed in a greenside bunker 20 yards from the hole. Her sand shot set her up for a short putt that pushed her to 11-under 133 at Travis Pointe.
The 20-year-old Jutanugarn is coming off a win at the Kingsmill Championship after becoming the first Thai winner in tour history the previous week in Alabama.