Billy Hurley III birdied five of the last holes, but his putt on the last hole might have been the biggest of all.
Hurley, the 34-year-old graduate of the United States Naval Academy, sank a 10-foot par putt to cap a 3-under-par 69 and is tied for the lead with Seamus Power of Ireland, Francesco Molinari of Italy and John Peterson in the rain-delayed second round of the Wells Fargo Championship at Eagle Point Golf Club in Wilmington, N.C.
Rain from overnight thunderstorms delayed the start of round two by three hours and 68 players still on the course when darkness came will return early Saturday to finish the round.
“I had a lot of good looks today, but really didn’t get the proper speed until the last seven holes,” said Hurley, whose only PGA Tour victory came in the 2016 Quicken Loans National. “I’ve finished a lot of rounds poorly lately, so it I was really big for me to get that last putt in the hole to keep the momentum.
“It was a lot more difficult today with the wind, but the rain made it a little softer or it would have been pretty brutal. … And it helped that I hit two wedges to within three feet of the hole.”
Power, tied with Hurley at 5-under 139, held sole possession of the lead until making two late birdies in a 71, while first-round leader Molinari was 1-under for the day after 11 holes and Peterson was 3-under through 12 when play was halted.
Vaughn Taylor sank an 17-foot birdie putt on the last hole to shoot 69 and is one stroke back in a tie for fifth with Jon Rahm (71) of Spain, Brian Harman (69), Rafa Cabrera Bello (71) of Spain and Grayson Murray (73).
Still on the course in the tie for fifth were Smylie Kaufman, 2-under through 15 holes, and Ben Martin, even through 15.
Defending champion James Hahn of Alameda and Cal posted a 71 and is in a tie for 34th that includes Phil Mickelson, who shot 72, while top-ranked Dustin Johnson is 2-over through 13 holes and in a tie for 46th that includes Adam Scott of Australia, who is even through 14.