HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (AP) - K.J. Choi’s early tee time and quick start moved him to the top of the rain-delayed RBC Heritage on Friday.
Choi shot a 67 to get to 5-under 137, one stroke ahead of Robert Allenby and two in front of a group led by former world No. 1 Luke Donald as the second round was suspended because of heavy storms.
Allenby was among 65 players still on the course when the rain hit Harbour Town Golf Links. Officials delayed the round shortly before 3 p.m. and then sent everyone home until Saturday morning after waiting through about 90 minutes of steady, heavy rain.
Allenby has 13 holes to finish when play resumes Saturday morning.
Donald shot a 69 and joined Billy Hurley III (69) and first-round tri-leader Scott Langley (73) in the clubhouse two shots behind Choi. Bo Van Pelt and Ben Martin were also at 3 under early in their rounds.
Kuchar, who tied for fifth last week at the year’s first major, had a pair of double bogeys on his first six holes before the rains came and stood four shots behind Choi.
Spieth, a Masters rookie who tied for second at Augusta National, had a 74 and was at 1-over 143 - good enough to make the projected cut of 4 over, but well off his opening 69.
Choi was four shots back of first-round leaders Kuchar, Langley and William McGirt at the beginning of the day. Based on his recent play, he didn’t figure to make much of a dent in the cool, drizzly conditions.
But Choi had three birdies on the front nine, including one on the difficult, par-4 eighth hole, to get into contention. He caught Kuchar on No. 16, rolling in a 20-footer for birdie.
Choi’s usual schedule had him return home to South Korea after the Masters to help take care of his three children. However, after hearing for years how Harbour Town might suit his game, he decided to play the South Carolina course.
“If you just hit it beneath the trees, it’s a good course to play,” Choi said. “It has very small targets and this course is working well.”
Kuchar, the world’s sixth-ranked player, probably wished the storm had arrived sooner. His tee shot found water on the par-3 fourth hole for a double bogey. He sent his drive out of bounds on No. 6 to drop two more shots.
He’ll see if he can find that game once play resumes. His bad start didn’t seem to bother him much. He smiled after hitting his provisional drive on the sixth hole, and then talked about the good time he and his family were having at Hilton Head.