Bill Haas played the best golf in the toughest conditions Friday in the rain-delayed Memorial in Dublin, Ohio.
When the second round was suspended as dark clouds rolled in and forced the third stoppage in play, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy were close to each other on the leaderboard, even if they were miles away from Haas, who had a 5-under-par 67.
That didn’t bode well for Woods, the five-time Memorial winner who had a most peculiar round in wind and on fast greens. He three-putted from 5 feet for double bogey on the par-5 15th, chopped up the final hole for a bogey and wound up with a 74.
‘‘Tough conditions out there, and I didn’t exactly play my best, either,’’ said Woods, who had his worst 36-hole total (145) at the Memorial since he first played it in 1997.
McIlroy was in danger of missing the cut until he fired off five birdies, looking more comfortable with his putts and attacking with his driver. He was 4 under for his round and one shot inside the cut line — and one shot behind Woods. McIlroy was in a greenside bunker in two shots at the par-5 15th when play was stopped.
‘‘The major goal today was to try to make it into the weekend,’’ McIlroy said. ‘‘I'm on the right track to do that.’’
The second round is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. Saturday.
The Memorial has a long history of bad weather, and it’s a tough spot for it to happen. Slugger White, the tour’s vice president of competition, said more storms were expected early Saturday afternoon and into Sunday morning. Ohio is on the western edge of the Eastern time zone, allowing for long hours of daylight. But several players have US Open qualifying Monday.
Muirfield Village was no picnic. The wind was a factor in the morning and it began to increase in strength, while the greens were firm and crispy and required caution even on the shorter putts.
Haas played through it, taking advantage of one bad tee shot that he thought was headed out of bounds on the par-5 11th. He hit a provisional, didn’t need it, and wound up making a birdie. He also holed a bunker shot for eagle on No. 5 and was at 9-under 135.
He was three shots clear of Matt Kuchar, who had a 70, among those who finished the round.
LPGA — Three-time NCAA player of the year Amanda Blumenherst and LPGA rookie leader Moriya Jutanugarn each shot 5-under 66 to top the leaderboard in the ShopRite Classic in Galloway Township, N.J., a stroke ahead of defending champion Stacy Lewis.
Michelle Wie, who a decade ago made one of her first appearances on the women’s tour as a 13-year-old in this event, was two shots behind after tying her lowest numerical score of what has been a very disappointing season.
European — Matteo Manassero remains on track for a second consecutive victory after taking a two-shot lead at the Nordea Masters in Stockholm.
The 20-year old Italian, who won last week’s BMW PGA Championship, added a 7-under 65 to his opening 66 for a 13-under total for two rounds, capping his round with four birdies in succession from the 11th hole.
Australia’s Andrew Dodt became the first player in European Tour history to record two holes-in-one in the same round when he aced his second (the 11th on the course) and his 16th hole (the seventh on the Stockholm layout). He finished with a 65 to reach the 2-under mark and squeeze into the weekend rounds.
Champions — Tom Lehman, Duffy Waldorf, Dan Forsman, and Scott Hoch each shot 3-under 69 to share the lead at the Principal Charity Classic in Des Moines.
Hale Irwin, who turns 68 on Monday, topped a group of eight at 70.