Patrick Rodgers grabs 3-shot lead at Valero Texas Open

Mar 31, 2023; San Antonio, Texas, USA; Patrick Rodgers plays a shot on the 12th hole during the second round of the Valero Texas Open golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Sports

Patrick Rodgers sat atop the leaderboard at 11-under-par 133 when play was suspended due to darkness during the second round of the Valero Texas Open on Friday at TPC San Antonio.

After the first round had to be completed Friday morning following a three-hour fog delay Thursday, 46 players were still on the course when darkness fell and the horn sounded Friday night.

Those golfers will complete their rounds Saturday at 7:40 a.m. local time, after which the top 65 and ties will make the cut.

Rodgers was even par through 12 holes of his second round before finishing with a cascade of birdies — five over the final six. That earned him a 5-under 67 following a first-round 66, good for a three-shot lead over Corey Conners of Canada (second-round 72) and Roberto Diaz of Mexico (4 under through 10 holes).

Rodgers, 30, has never won on tour and entered the week No. 143 in the Official World Golf Ranking.

Thanks to stellar approaches, his birdie putts at Nos. 13, 14, 16, 17 and 18 were no longer than 9 feet. Rodgers made a remarkable 16 of 18 greens in regulation in his second round and said his approach game had been “a huge area of focus” for him of late.

“It’s been what’s keeping me from playing better golf and yeah, I’m really proud (with) the work that I’ve been putting in week in and week out even when it wasn’t paying off on the golf course,” Rodgers said. “Now it’s starting to and I’m happy with the patience that I’ve showed to get here.”

Conners, the 2019 Texas Open champion, wrapped up a bogey-free, first-round 64 on Friday morning, with four birdies over his last five holes. That made him the official 18-hole leader, but his second round got off to a rough start with two bogeys and a double bogey on his first nine. He finished with an even-par 72 to remain at 8 under.

He said his double bogey at the par-3 16th hole “caught a bit of a gust” on the first putt.

“I feel like I’ve hit a lot of really good putts throughout the first couple rounds and before that, so I just try to think more about those than I really dwell on the couple misses I had there,” Conners said.

Tied for fourth at 7 under were Michael Thompson (second-round 68) and Brendon Todd (5 under through 15 holes). Eric Cole and Belgium’s Thomas Detry each shot second-round 67s to share sixth place at 6 under with Matt Kuchar (70).

Irishman Padraig Harrington, 51, followed a 4-under 68 by slipping back to 2 under with two holes left to finish in the second round. The three-time major champ could become the third-oldest tournament winner in PGA Tour history should he make a run on the weekend.

Rickie Fowler is among a group of players who must win the Texas Open in order to qualify for next week’s Masters. Fowler went 71-72 over his first two rounds to stand at 1 under; the projected cut line is 1 under but could move in either direction Saturday morning.

Defending champion J.J. Spaun (second-round 73) is also 1 under.

–Field Level Media

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