Malnati shoots 65, Leads in Rainy Houston

Perhaps Peter Malnati wasn’t as affected as some other players by the cold, rainy and windy weather at the Houston Open because he has other things on his mind.

The 32-year-old Malnati, who is about to become a father for the first time, shot 7-under-par 65 to hold a one-stroke over Talor Gooch when darkness halted play in the rain-delayed second round at the Golf Club of Houston in Humble, Texas.

Play in the second round will resume Saturday at 8 a.m. (CST) and tournament organizers hope to get in the third round before darkness comes again.

“The last couple weeks, I let it be a distraction because I wanted to be home with my wife (Alicia),” said Malnati, who missed the cut recently in the Safeway Open and the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. “But this is the last tournament before I become a father and the best thing I can do for my wife and kid is to focus on the tournament.

“I’m 98 percent excited and two percent terrified. My dream is to see my wife and kid run out onto the green after I win a tournament, but the best thing I can do for them this week is to just think about golf.”

Malnati, whose only PGA Tour victory came in the 2017 Sanderson Farms Championship, made three birdies and a 22-foot birdie putt at No. 4 in the first five holes before the storm hit, and came back later to finish off his bogey-free round to post a 36-hole score of 10-under 134.

Gooch, who shared the first-round lead with Austin Cook at 64, was one stroke back at 9-under for the tournament at 1-under for the round through 14 holes of round two when the end came, while Sepp Straka of Austria totaled 71 and is two strokes back in a tie for third at 8-under with Nick Watney of Davis and Fresno State (3-under through 14 holes) and rookie Lanto Griffin (2-under through 13 holes).

Carlos Ortiz of Mexico posted a 71 and is three strokes back in a tie for sixth at 7-under with Mark Hubbard, who had a 69, and John Huh of Los Angeles and Cal State Northridge (2-under through 13 holes).

Cook was 2-over for the day through 15 holes and tied for ninth at 6-under for the tournament with Scott Harrington (3-under through 10 holes).

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