27 April 2019: Even as darkness forced a suspension of play at Avondale, the Zurich Classic in New Orleans was poised on the sharp edge, with Peter Malnati and Bill Hurley leading the table at 14-under. The duo posted five birdies in a fluent 67 on Friday. Anirban Lahiri and Shubhankar Sharma played with camaraderie and commitment as they foraged out rounds of 67 and 69 to plant themselves firmly in the middle section of the leaderboard.
Malnati has been to TPC Louisiana thrice in the past, missing the cut on each occasion. But doing double duty on Friday in the company of Hurley, who himself missed three of four cuts here, they produced a sizzling 63 in the morning before adding a 67 in the afternoon for a one-stroke advantage over Russell Knox & Brian Stuard, Scott Stallings & Trey Mullinax, Kevin Kisner & Scott Brown and Brian Gay and Rory Sabbatini.
At 12-under are Henrik Stenson & Graeme McDowell, Chez Reavie & Lucas Glover and Russell Henley & Ryan Blaum. The packed leaderboard sets the stage for a thrilling weekend, with moving Saturday expected to separate the contenders from the pretenders.
Indian duo Anirban Lahiri and Shubhankar Sharma combined well for an 8-under total through 36 holes. Starting on the 10th hole, Lahiri and Sharma coasted to the bend without incident before scoring their first birdie at the 18th hole.
Birdies at the 2nd, 5th and 7th help them consolidate an opening round 67 to ensure that they reached the weekend inside the top 30.
“It was a long day and the hard part was keeping the concentration levels up towards the second half where conditions got windy. Neither of us played very well in either of the rounds but we managed to keep a relatively clean card,” Anirban told the Golfing Indian.
“Our goal will be to go low in the 3rd round and make as many birdies as possible. We also need to take greater advantage of the par 5’s which we didn’t do today.”
Notes from PGA TOUR
- Format: Four-ball (first and third rounds), Foursomes (second and fourth rounds)
- Due to darkness, round two was suspended for the day at 7:36 p.m. CT. A total of 40 groups finished the second round
- The last groups teed off at 7:09 p.m.
- Round two will resume at 7 a.m. Third-round tee times will be from approximately 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m.