June 19 (UPI) — Webb Simpson carded another 6-under 65 to take a 1-shot lead after the rain-delayed second round of the RBC Heritage on Friday at Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head, S.C.
Simpson entered the second day of the tournament tied for third at 6-under par. He sank a 6-foot birdie on his final hole at No. 9, finishing with three bogeys and nine birdies to sit atop the leaderboard.
Bryson DeChambeau made six birdies on his final nine holes but missed a 5-foot birdie putt on No. 9 that would have tied him for the lead. He had one bogey and two birdies on his first nine to finish with a 64.
Corey Conners also was one back from Simpson after a bogey-free 63 in the second round.
“It’s very satisfying knowing I’m not near as long as some of these guys, and I’m able to kind of use my skills of distance control and shot shape to pick me back up when I’m 40 yards or 30 yards behind these guys,” Simpson said Friday. “I would like to hit it further.
“I set out on a journey three years ago to get stronger, hit it further, but do it a lot slower than Bryson. But he’s made it look easy and seamless.”
Simpson is at 12-under 130 after two days, and scoring remained clustered below him. Twenty players are within four shots of his lead, including Brooks Koepka (66) and Dustin Johnson (66). Koepka is at 9-under 133, while Johnson sits at 8-under 134 after the first two rounds.
Rory McIlroy, the top-ranked golfer in the world, rattled off three birdies in a four-hole stretch to finish above the cut line with a 66. He sits seven shots behind the leader going into the third day of play.
Jordan Spieth dropped 18 spots into a tie for 28th after his second-round 70. He has finished under par in each of the first two rounds.
Rickie Fowler, Jason Day, Jim Furyk and Patrick Reed failed to make the cut at 4-under par.
Thunderstorms rolled through the area and halted the tournament for about two hours before the second round was eventually completed.
Prior to the second round beginning, Nick Watney withdrew from the RBC Heritage after he became the first player on the PGA Tour to test positive for the coronavirus since golf resumed this month.
Watney — a five-time winner on the PGA Tour — traveled privately to the Hilton Head, S.C., tournament, according to the Tour. He wasn’t on the Tour-sponsored charter flight from last week’s Charles Schwab Challenge in Texas, meaning he was tested upon arrival earlier this week and was negative for the virus.
A total of 369 players, caddies and other essential personnel underwent testing at the site before the start of the RBC Heritage with no positive tests, according to the Tour. Over the past two weeks since the PGA Tour’s return from a 13-week hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, there had been 954 tests without a positive result.