Golf: Steele moves three ahead at weather-hit Texas Open

Brendan Steele tips his hat on the 18th hole after finising with a two-under par 70 during the second round of the Valero Texas Open at TPC San Antonio AT&T Oaks Course on April 22, 2016 in San Antonio, Texas.
Brendan Steele tips his hat on the 18th hole after finising with a two-under par 70 during the second round of the Valero Texas Open at TPC San Antonio AT&T Oaks Course on April 22, 2016 in San Antonio, Texas. PHOTO: AFP

(Reuters) - American Brendan Steele took advantage of relatively calm conditions at one of his favourite venues to seize a three-shot lead midway through the second round of the weather-disrupted Texas Open in San Antonio on Friday (April 22).

Steele, the 2011 champion, mixed six birdies with two bogeys and a double at the par-four 15th to card two-under 70 on the rain-softened Oaks layout at TPC San Antonio.

In pursuit of his second career win on the PGA Tour, Steele posted a 10-under total of 134 to match the tournament's 36-hole low set by compatriot Ben Curtis in 2012.

"I always feel good here," Steele, 33, told Golf Channel. "I know the shots, the course sets up really well for me and it kind of plays into my strengths, which is usually driving the ball.

"So to see it play a little bit softer this week and with a little less wind, my eyes kind of lit up because it always plays so difficult here ... the winning score is just a handful under par usually."

Scott Langley was alone at seven under after carding a 68, ending the round a stroke in front of fellow Americans Ricky Barnes (70), Patrick Reed (73) and Ryan Palmer (70).

However, the second round was destined to spill over into Saturday with heavy rain having wiped out more than three hours of play on Thursday to disrupt the tournament schedule.

About half of the field were still out on the course when first-round play was suspended due to fading light and Steele was among them after storming to eight-under through 13 holes.

He returned to the course early on Friday and parred his last five holes for a 64 to take a one-stroke lead.

"You always want to keep going when you're feeling good and the ball was going a long way yesterday in the afternoon," Steele said of his sizzling start. "It was nice and warm and really good conditions.

"So to come out this morning early, a little bit colder, and try to regather that momentum was a little bit tough."

The cut was projected to fall at level-par 144 with five-times major champion Phil Mickelson among those almost certain to miss out.