Collins leads rain-delayed Puerto Rico Open
RIO GRANDE, Puerto Rico – Chad Collins chipped in for eagle on the par-5 second hole Saturday to top the Puerto Rico Open leaderboard at 9 under before second-round play was suspended because of darkness in the rain-delayed PGA Tour event.
Collins, a former Methodist College player who has won twice on the Nationwide Tour, was 6 under through 11 holes in the second round after completing a first-round 69 in sunny conditions Saturday morning at Trump International Golf Club-Puerto Rico.
“It felt really good to end the day that way, especially just after making bogey on the previous hole,” said Collins, second on the Nationwide Tour money list last year.
Paul Stankowski, one of only six players to complete the second round, followed an opening 66 with a 70 to join Jeff Overton and Jhonattan Vegas at 8 under. Overton finished 14 holes in the second round, and Vegas played 13.
The competition, which was scheduled to end Sunday, will stretch into Monday due to the rain delays. Because of the wet conditions, players were allowed to lift, clean and place their golf balls in the fairways.
Vegas, a former University of Texas player who recently moved to Houston, received a sponsor exemption into the event. He learned the game’s fundamentals by playing with a broomstick and a rock in his native Venezuela.
“It was a good day, obviously,” said Vegas, who turned professional in 2008, some six years after leaving Venezuela for Texas. “Just a good job from the beginning, hitting a lot of good shots, birdies.”
On Thursday, only 18 players were able to tee off because of drenching rain, and the weather woes continued Friday.
“It’s drying out a little bit, but it’s still wet,” said Germany’s Alex Cejka, who finished up his first round shortly before noon and planned on flying back to his home in Florida before heading back to Puerto Rico later in the day.
As the Caribbean sun helped dry the greens and fairways, a few iguanas kept an eye on the golfers from the thick tropical brush or from their perches on sun-baked rocks. Land crabs could be seen intermittently scuttling across fairways.