Summerhays is in contention for the second straight week. (Revere/Getty Images)
By Rusty Hampton, Special to PGATOUR.COM
MADISON, Miss. -- Daniel Summerhays is back in a familiar position as the search for his first PGA TOUR win continues: Leading on the weekend.
Summerhays, who led after the third round of last week’s John Deere Classic, will hold a four-shot lead when he tees off later Saturday in the third round of the Sanderson Farms Championship. Summerhays finished his second round of the storm-plagued event Saturday morning, firing a 5-under 67 to get to 14 under. He leads over 10 players who have finished their second rounds.
Among those tied at 10 under are former Ryder Cupper Vaughn Taylor, Billy Mayfair, Peter Lonard and Chris Kirk, the 2011 winner of this event.
Storms delayed Thursday’s opening round to a Friday finish, and a lightning delay Friday afternoon forced a Saturday finish for 59 players in Round 2.
The third round is scheduled to begin at about 12:20 p.m. ET with the leaders set to go off at about 2:20 p.m. They’ll go in threesomes off both tees.
Summerhays, 29, had a chance to pocket his first TOUR win last week at TPC Deere Run. He led by two going into Sunday, lost the lead with four bogeys on the front, then got back into contention with four birdies on the back. He was tied for the lead going to 18 but bogeyed and missed out on a three-man playoff that was won by 19-year-old Jordan Speith.
If last Sunday was a learning experience for the sixth-year pro from Utah, this week has been another one. He breezed through his opening round Thursday morning, firing a bogey-free 9-under 63 to set the early pace, but Friday was a different story. He hit his opening tee shot into trees, punched out -- then the horn sounded. Two hours later, he returned to make his first bogey of the week. He played until dark, then returned Saturday morning to another shot from the trees, this time a 9-iron from 155 yards that he hooked onto the ninth green, 8 feet from the pin. His birdie try lipped out, but he played the back nine in 4 under to increase his lead by four going into Round 3.
Between rounds, he said, he’ll change into some gym shorts and a t-shirt and relax.
“This week has been a little bit strange,” said Summerhays of the stop-and-go-and-stop tournament. “I’ve had a little more time to sit and think about it, so I’ve made myself a little more nervous, thinking I should shoot 63 every round, but I think today playing 10 holes in a roll it was nice to get into a better rhythm. Now I’m looking forward to this afternoon and hopefully the weather will hold off for us.”
The second-round 67 means Summerhays has now played his last 10 rounds in 40 under.
“Right now,” he said, “It feels like mechanically, mentally, emotionally, I’m in a good spot. Hopefully I can keep riding the wave out.”