July 21, 2018 / 4:08 AM / 25 days ago

Merritt holds two-stroke lead at Barbasol with Round 2 suspended

Troy Merritt followed up a terrific Thursday round with a strong outing Friday, shooting 5-under 67 to take a two-stroke lead before play was suspended midway through Round 2 at the Barbasol Championship in Nicholasville, Ky.

Jul 20, 2018; Nicholasville, KY, USA; Troy Merritt hits his shot during the second round of the Barbasol Championship golf tournament at Keene Trace Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Just 42 players in the 127-player field finished their rounds before inclement weather forced play to be suspended at 3:25 p.m ET. Play did not resume and the day’s action was called two hours later, with 30 players — including the LPGA’s Brittany Lincicome — yet to start their second rounds.

After blistering a 62 on Thursday, Merritt made back-to-back birdies at Nos. 1 and 2 and again at Nos. 6 and 7 to get to 14 under for the tournament. He bogeyed the ninth and 13th but made three birdies on the back nine to finish at 15-under 129 through 36 holes.

“I got off to a great start going birdie-birdie,” Merritt said after his round. “... Driver got just a little bit sideways toward the middle of the round. We hit a couple less fairways.

“...We were just two poor three-putts and a missed 10-footer away on 11 from shooting another 64. All in all, a pretty good day of golf.”

Two strokes back of the lead is Billy Horschel, who fired a bogey-free 66 after shooting 65 on Thursday.

Jul 20, 2018; Nicholasville, KY, USA; Troy Merritt waits to put on the 4th hole during the second round of the Barbasol Championship golf tournament at Keene Trace Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Richy Werenski and Tim Lovelady each sit at 12 under through 35 holes, but each could lose a stroke when play resumes Saturday morning. Werenski has just a three-footer left for par at the 18th, while Lovelady has 25 feet left for his par at No. 9 after finding the water off the tee.

Shawn Stefani (68 on Friday), Hunter Mahan (68) and Josh Teater (66) are each safely in the clubhouse at 10 under, and five other players — including three who finished their rounds — are at 9 under.

Lincicome, who received a sponsor’s exemption to become the sixth woman ever to play in a PGA Tour event, shot 6-over 78 on Thursday, with a double bogey and a triple bogey undoing an otherwise steady round. She is currently tied for 123rd and nine strokes off the projected 3-under cut line.

Only one woman has ever made the cut in a PGA Tour event, when Babe Didrikson Zaharias did so twice in seven events she played in 1945.

Lincicome is an ambassador for Pure Silk. Columbus, Ohio-based Perio, Inc., is the maker of both Barbasol and Pure Silk.

The 32-year-old has won eight LPGA events, including two major titles.

She will begin her second round at 7:52 a.m. on No. 1 Saturday morning, playing with Conrad Shindler and Sam Ryder.

—Field Level Media

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