PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Ryan Palmer has reason to believe that better days are ahead, with his golf game and at home.
Palmer made seven birdies Friday on another day of ideal scoring conditions at PGA National for a 5-under 65 that gave him a share of the lead with PGA Tour rookie Wesley Bryan (67) going into the weekend at the Honda Classic.
Rickie Fowler was a shot back after his second 66, and Anirban Lahiri was another stroke behind after a 68.
Starting a new year packed with uncertainty over matters far more important than golf, Palmer returned from a four-month break and missed the cut in his first four events. He signed up for Riviera only because his game needed work, and he saw enough go right to find some momentum going into Florida.
The long break was to be at home with his wife, Jennifer, who is recovering from breast cancer.
She was diagnosed with Stage 2 cancer in late July while he was at the Canadian Open. She had surgery about five weeks later. Palmer’s season ended in September, and he spent the rest of the year helping her cope with chemotherapy and at home with their two children.
“I watched a few tournaments,” Palmer said. “There were times when she said I should have gone and played. I was going to play Vegas and I was going to play Malaysia, but after that, there was no way I could play golf. Enjoyed time at home, took care of the kids. But it was a lot of hard times, for sure.”
She was diagnosed relatively early, and the timing helped in other ways.
Palmer was able to reach out to Stewart Cink, whose wife is battling breast cancer. And the week after he learned his wife had breast cancer, Palmer sought out Phil Mickelson at the PGA Championship. Mickelson’s wife was diagnosed in 2009.
CHONBURI, Thailand (AP) — Heavy washed out most of the play in the LPGA Thailand.
Play was called for the day at 3:45 p.m., and 13 players didn’t start the second round, including leaders Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand and Amy Yang of South Korea. Jutanugarn and Yang each shot 6-under 66 on Thursday at Siam Country Club’s Pattaya Old Course.
JOHANNESBURG (AP) — England’s Paul Waring topped the Joburg Open leaderboard at 12 under after 12 holes of the second round when play was suspended because of darkness.
Waring was playing Royal Johannesburg and Kensington’s par-71 West Course after opening with a 6-under 66 on the East Course, the site of the final two rounds.
South Africans Darren Fichardt and Dean Burmester were 11 under. Fichardt shot a 66 on the East Course. Burmester had three holes to play, also on the East Course.