Jamie Lovemark played 27 holes, but at the end of the day he liked where he stood.
Lovemark, from Rancho Santa Fe and USC, finished off a 5-under-par 67 in the first round and then shot a 66 in round two to take a one-stroke lead over Jhonattan Vegas of Venezuela in the Zurich Classic of New Orleans at TPC Louisiana.
“It was definitely a hard walk out there; it was a long day,” said Lovemark, the 2007 NCAA champion who has had his career sidetracked by injuries. “I’m glad to be done and glad to be 11-under.
“I’m fortunate to be able to hit it high and far, and hit it fairly accurate, because that’s what you have to do out there to have a chance because you aren’t getting much run on the fairways and there’s mud on the ball. With my length, you have to crush the par-5s.
” … I’m going to go back and chill out, get something to eat, relax and watch some TV.”
Vegas, whose only PGA Tour victory came in the 2011 Bob Hope Classic, overcame a double bogey-7 on the 11th hole, where he hit his second shot into an unplayable lie and took a penalty stroke, but followed an opening 64 with a 69.
Brian Stuard, the first-round leader at 64, was 2-under for the day through 12 holes and one shot back in third when darkness halted the second round, while Harold Varner III was three strokes down in fourth after a 67.
Thomas Aiken of South Africa shot 69 and was four shots behind in a tie for seventh with Patton Kizzire, who had a 70, second year pro Patrick Rodgers of Stanford, who was 2-under for the day through seven holes when darkness came, and Daniel Berger, who was 6-under for his round after 13.
Top-ranked Jason Day of Australia, who opened with a 69, was 2-under for his round and six shots behind in a tie for 21st, while Charley Hoffman of Poway, who won the Valero Texas Open last week, was six shots down after a 73 and in a tie for 31st that included Rickie Fowler of Murrieta, who was even after nine holes following an opening 68.
Defending champion Justin Rose of England, started with 72-72 and on his way to missing the cut in a tie for 92nd.