DeLaet, Donald Co-lead RBC Heritage After Two Rounds

After two rounds of the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Links on Hilton Head Island, a plethora of compelling stories have formed at the top of the leaderboard.

 
Two are tied for the lead at 10-under-par: 35-year-old Canadian Graham DeLaet, who is still looking for his first career PGA Tour victory, and Luke Donald, the 39-year-old Englishman who has had close call after close call in this tournament (six top 3s in the last eight years) without a victory.

The intriguing pair holds a two-stroke lead over two other big names, Ian Poulter and Webb Simpson, former greats who are hoping to regain old form.

 
This tournament is especially important for Poulter, who is playing on a 10 event major medical extension and needs to earn $220,301 during this stretch to keep his card.

Going into the RBC, he’d used up eight of those exemptions, and was still $145,000 short. According to projections, Poulter will need a 12th place finish or better to hit the magic number, and regain full Tour status.


Top 10

T1 Graham DeLaet, Luke Donald -10
T3 Ian Poulter, Webb Simpson -8
T5 Bud Cauley, Pat Perez, Jason Dufner, Nick Taylor, Sam Saunders -7
T10 William McGirt, Russell Knox, Wesley Bryan, Patrick Cantlay, Kevin Kisner, Ollie Schniederjans -6

Other Notables

T16 Tyrell Hatton, Adam Hadwin, Martin Kaymer -5
T32 Branden Grace, Matt Kuchar, Andrew “Beef” Johnston -3
T47 Charles Howell III, Graeme McDowell -2
T63 Keegan Bradley, Shane Lowry -1

Notables Missing the Cut

Even Hunter Mahan, Jim Furyk
+1 Davis Love III, Stewart Cink
+2 Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Ernie Els
+3 Matthew Fitzpatrick
+4 Bryson DeChambeau, Charley Hoffman
+5 Bill Haas, Geoff Ogilvy
+7 Danny Willett


How the Leaders Did It

DeLaet and Donald had matching rounds of four-under 67 that shared some similarities. They both had just one bogey on the day, but rebounded quickly from it. DeLaet was +1 through seven holes, but went on a mid-round tear, going birdie, eagle, par, birdie, birdie on 8-12. He then parred out the rest of his round.

 
Donald started his round with three straight pars followed by three straight birdies. He had trouble off the tees on the back nine, but his brilliant short game was able to negate most of that damage. A birdie on 18 capped off the -4 round.


Other Great Round 2s

The round of the day came from Kevin Kisner, who needed to do something positive after shooting a one-over 72 in round 1. Kisner shot 8 strokes better on Friday, posting a bogey-free seven-under 64 to rocket 81 spots up the leaderboard. He was incredible tee-to-green, gaining nearly five strokes on the field in strokes gained: tee-to-green.

 
Keegan Bradley had a similarly great bounce-back. After a dismal round one 75, Bradley carded 8 birdies in a five-under 66 that allowed him to make the cut on the number.

Graham DeLaet has received most of the attention among the Canadians at the tournament sponsored by a Canadian company, but Nick Taylor has also played himself into contention. Taylor’s six birdies to one bogey lead to a five-under 66, which vaulted him into a tie for fifth place, just three strokes behind the leaders.


Going the Wrong Way

Shane Lowry was just one stroke out of the lead after a round one five-under 66. Now, after a round of four-over 75, Lowry is now just one stroke above the cut line. A three hole front-nine stretch of double bogey, bogey, bogey proved difficult to overcome. Lowry had trouble finding greens, which is as necessary at Harbour Town as any course on tour.

 
Russell Henley, the winner of the Shell Houston Open two weeks ago, who was also T11 at The Masters, finally cooled off his recent hot streak. He was well in contention after a round-one 66, but round two was a much different story.

Henley was -2 through five, and then +4 for the rest of his round, posting a two over 73. He dropped 27 spots down the leaderboard.

Ben Crane had birdies on his first two holes, and then none over his last 16. With five bogeys in a six-hole stretch from 7-11, Crane shot a three-over 74, and is now eight strokes out of the lead.


Quotable

“We got a little bit fortunate because we played the front nine in relatively no wind, and as we played the back nine and it kept picking up and picking up. I don’t know what the forecast is, if it’s supposed to continue, but I got a good draw being first off today; at the same time, I played some nice golf, and I hang near the top as the weekend starts.”
Graham DeLaet, round two co-leader


The Leaderboard

RBC Heritage, Round Two – April 14, 2017

POSNAMER1R2TO-PAR
1Graham DeLaet6567-10
1Luke Donald6567-10
3Ian Poulter6668-8
3Webb Simpson6668-8
5Bud Cauley6372-7
5Nick Taylor6966-7
5Jason Dufner6867-7
5Pat Perez6867-7
5Sam Saunders6570-7
10William McGirt6868-6
10Russell Knox7066-6
10Wesley Bryan6967-6
10Patrick Cantlay7066-6
10Kevin Kisner7264-6
10Ollie Schniederjans68-3-6
16Alex Cejka7166-5
16Tyrrell Hatton6968-5
16Brandt Snedeker6968-5
16Adam Hadwin7166-5
16Marc Leishman6869-5
16Cameron Smith6770-5
16Hideto Tanihara6770-5
16Anirban Lahiri6770-5
16Martin Kaymer6869-5
25Patton Kizzire7266-4
25Brian Gay6870-4
25Francesco Molinari6771-4
25Danny Lee6672-4
25Chad Campbell6969-4
25Sung Kang6969-4
25Rafael Campos6870-4
32Derek Fathauer7267-3
32Johnson Wagner7069-3
32Daniel Summerhays7366-3
32Martin Laird6970-3
32Branden Grace6871-3
32Blayne Barber7168-3
32Harold Varner III6772-3
32Jonas Blixt6970-3
32Jason Bohn6772-3
32J.J. Spaun6772-3
32Kevin Na7069-3
32Matt Kuchar6871-3
32Russell Henley6673-3
32Mark Anderson6970-3
32Andrew Johnston6871-3
47C.T. Pan7169-2
47Zac Blair7070-2
47Ben Crane6674-2
47Peter Malnati7169-2
47David Hearn7070-2
47Bryce Molder7367-2
47Ryan Blaum7169-2
47Steve Marino6971-2
47Charles Howell III7070-2
47K.J. Choi6971-2
47Graeme McDowell7268-2
47Billy Hurley III6971-2
47Brian Stuard6971-2
47Lucas Glover7268-2
47Tyrone Van Aswegen7070-2
47Grayson Murray6773-2
63Brian Harman7170-1
63Kyle Stanley7170-1
63Ryan Palmer6873-1
63Vaughn Taylor7170-1
63Keegan Bradley7566-1
63Mark Hubbard7071-1
63Trey Mullinax7368-1
63Yuta Ikeda7071-1
63Rod Pampling6972-1
63Shane Lowry6675-1
63Fabian Gomez7467-1
63Boo Weekley72-2-1
75Hunter Mahan6874E
75Chris Kirk7072E
75Jim Furyk6874E
75Vijay Singh7072E
75John Senden7270E
75Camilo Villegas7072E
75Carl Pettersson6973E
75Freddie Jacobson7270E
75Luke List7567E
75John Huh7072E
75D.A. Points7171E
75Robert Garrigus7270E
75Jason Kokrak6874E
88David Lingmerth72711
88Davis Love III72711
88Michael Thompson74691
88Shawn Stefani69741
88Tommy Gainey69741
88Roberto Castro71721
88Andrew Loupe71721
88Stewart Cink70731
88Steven Bowditch71721
97Aaron Baddeley71732
97Rafa Cabrera Bello74702
97Kyle Reifers70742
97Michael Kim71732
97Robert Streb76682
97Greg Chalmers72722
97Ernie Els70742
97James Hahn72722
97Brett Stegmaier72722
97Scott Brown72722
107Ricky Barnes73723
107Spencer Levin68773
107Matthew Fitzpatrick73723
107J.J. Henry73723
107Troy Merritt71743
112John Peterson72744
112Ben Martin71754
112Ken Duke75714
112Morgan Hoffmann74724
112Bryson DeChambeau73734
112Chad Collins76704
112Charley Hoffman73734
112Chez Reavie74724
112Whee Kim69774
112Ryo Ishikawa70764
122Dominic Bozzelli72755
122Harris English74735
122Kelly Kraft72755
122Bill Haas71765
122Geoff Ogilvy73745
127Billy Horschel70786
128Danny Willett71787
129Jim Herman777712
130Cheng Jin787814
131Brooks Blackburn817615
-Matt Every74-WD

Joel Cook

Joel Cook is Pro Golf Weekly's Lead Writer. He is a member of the Golf Writer's Association of America.



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