Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Piercy Keeps Lead at Soggy Safeway

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Piercy Keeps Lead at Soggy Safeway

Article excerpt

NAPA, Calif. * Scott Piercy keeps finding ways to score even when he's not making a lot of putts.

Piercy pitched in from 40 yards for eagle on the par-5 ninth hole Friday, helping him keep a two-shot cushion at the rain-delayed Safeway Open until it became too dark to continue.

A steady rain that fell on Silverado for most of the bleak day halted the second round for 2 hours, 36 minutes as water began to pool on the tee boxes and the corners of the greens. The delay meant the second round could not be completed until Saturday morning.

Bill Haas had a 2-under 70 in the morning and finished 36 holes in 8-under 136.

Piercy, who opened with a course-record 62, made only one of his four birdie chances until his eagle at No. 9, and he followed with a 10-foot birdie on the next hole to reach 14 under par.

He missed a 5-foot birdie on the 12th hole, his last of the day.

Johnson Wagner was at 12 under and had a 15-foot birdie putt on the par-3 15th hole when he decided to wait until morning. Paul Casey, who opened with a 64, recovered from two bogeys late on his front nine with three birdies over his next four holes. He was 11 under through 12 holes, ending his day with a 35-foot birdie putt.

"In my mind, I wanted to shoot 3 under on the front," Piercy said. "And luckily, I was able to do that."

Piercy converted only one of four reasonable birdie chances, making a 7-foot putt on the par-5 fifth hole. The next par 5 was into the wind, though he was mildly surprised that a 3-wood came up so short of the green in the first cut.

"I had a good angle, though, kind of shooting straight up the green," he said. "When you make it from 40 yards, it's luck. I hit a good shot. I landed it pretty much where I wanted to and it reacted good. Whenever it goes in, that's a bonus."

No one from the afternoon starters finished the second round, which was to resume at 7:45 a. …

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