July 18 2013
By Rusty Hampton, Special to PGATOUR.COM
MADISON, Miss. -- In the summertime in Mississippi, the earlier the tee time, the better. It’s cooler, obviously.
And it’s drier. Much, much drier.
Playing in the morning wave, Daniel Summerhays set the pace in Thursday’s opening round of the Sanderson Farms Championship, firing a bogey-free 9-under 63 at Annandale Golf Club. It was steamy morning but things really got wet in the afternoon, when thunderstorms hit, stopping play at 3 p.m. ET.
Although players were sent to the range at 7 p.m. ET, with a 8 p.m. ET restart scheduled, PGA TOUR officials soon realized the course was too soggy to resume play, so it was called for the day, with 66 players still to finish their first rounds.
Among those who finished, Summerhays has a three-shot lead. Will Claxton, Michael Bradley and local product Jonathan Randolph, who had nine birdies, are tied for second at 6-under 66. Five players, including Chad Campbell and D.J. Trahan, former winners here, are in a group at 5-under 67, four shots back.
Among those who didn’t finish their rounds was this premier pairing of former major winners: Ryder Cup Captain Davis Love III, David Toms and Mike Weir.
PGA TOUR officials – and players – are familiar with rescheduling due to rain. This is the 16th Tour event impacted by weather this year. And this event has had its share of problems, too. In 2009, the tournament was canceled after steady rains rendered the course unplayable.
Summerhays was scheduled to tee off at 1:22 p.m. ET on Friday, but that will be pushed back. When he plays again, he’ll hope to continue the momentum he’s been building.
Last week, he led the John Deere Classic through three rounds and missed out on a playoff both a shot, finishing tied for fourth. His 9-under 63 on Thursday was his second round of 9 under in three rounds, matching his 9-under 62 in the third round at TPC Deere Run.
Summerhays has played his last nine rounds at 35 under par.
“I’m just soaking it in,” Summerhays said. “I’m really excited about where my game is at right now.”
LEADERBOARD: Sanderson Farms Championship