RALEIGH, N.C.- The field continued to catch up during a marathon of play at the Country Club at Wakefield Plantation on Friday as a result of a weather suspension of play during Round 1 the previous day.
While Andrew Novak was the initial clubhouse leader at 10-under par early on Thursday and through Friday as a delayed first round was completed, Derek Ernst and Ben Kohles closed in as Round 2 continued Friday into Saturday morning.
Ernst sat atop the leaderboard at 12-under par, holding a one-stroke lead over Novak who moved to -11, while Cary native Kohles sat one behind him at 10-under.
The second round was suspended due to darkness at 8:22 p.m.
Long days, short fairways
Ernst made just one bogey in 36 holes Friday, carding a bogey-free 7-under 64 in the morning and a 5-under 66 in the afternoon.
“This might be the first time in my nine years on the PGA (TOUR) and Korn Ferry (Tour) I’ve played 36 in one day,” Ernst said.
“Playing pretty good. Took last week off. It was just nice hanging out with the family (and) coming here a little more refreshed and ready to go. Making a lot of putts. I felt like my speed was good. Just not really missing it much, keeping it in play.”
Ernst currently ranks 107th in the 2020-21 Korn Ferry Tour points standings, and missed 19 cuts in his 28 previous starts this season.
Kohles carded a 3-under 68 in the morning and a 7-under 64 in the afternoon Friday, putting him in solo third position at 10-under par through two days.
Second-round play resumed Saturday at 7 a.m., with tee times for the third round expected to begin at 1 p.m. with groups of three off the first and 10th tees.
Notables: Brady Schnell made his second hole-in-one of his Korn Ferry Tour career; he hit an 8-iron at the 170-yard par-3 fifth…Mito Pereira shot a career-low 9-under 62 with a career-high 11 birdies in the first round…Brinson Paolini sat T76 at 3-under par and led the eight Monday qualifiers, though none of them were inside the current cut line of 4-under par.
Peter Koutroumpis – 401-323-8969, @pksport