CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Peter Malnati and Tiger Woods both had reason to celebrate on the ninth green at Quail Hollow at the end of their rounds Friday.

Malnati was coming off two straight birdies to take the lead in the Wells Fargo Championship when he put his 5-iron in a deep bunker to the right, with the green running away from him. He was trying to blast out to 15 feet but got the club too much under the ball and feared the worst until it cleared the lip by inches.

Malnati emphatically wiped his hand across his brow, made the 6-foot par putt for a 3-under 68 and had a one-shot lead over Jason Day and Aaron Wise.

“Pretty scary when I hit it,” he said. “I got away with it, looked like a genius.”

Hours earlier, Woods stood over an 18-foot putt on No. 9, his final hole of another ordinary round that until then featured no birdies. He finally made one and stretched out both hands in mock celebration when it dropped.

“I’m on a hot streak right now. I made the last putt,” he said.

Never mind that it was the only putt he made longer than 5 feet. Or that he was nine shots out of the lead in a tie for 48th, his worst position through 36 holes in his last five tournaments. At least he was still playing on the weekend at Quail Hollow, where he missed the cut his previous two trips. That putt made certain of it, though Woods made the cut with one shot to spare.

LPGA: Celine Boutier of France shot a 1-under 70 to grab the lead among the 12 golfers who finished the rain-delayed first round of the LPGA Texas Classic at The Colony, Texas.

After Thursday’s play was cancelled and Friday’s began following an eight-hour delay because of rain, the tournament was cut from 72 holes to 36. All 144 golfers will play both rounds with the payout limited to the top 70 and ties. Half the field got on the course Friday.

Boutier, in her second year on tour after playing for Duke, had four birdies and three bogeys on a course that’s hosting the event for the first time.

CHAMPIONS: Bernhard Langer played his best round on the Tour in more than two years, shooting a course-record 9-under 63 at The Woodlands, Texas, to take a three-stroke lead in the Insperity Invitational.

Seeking his first victory of the year after seven wins in 2017, Langer, 60, birdied the first two holes and turned in a 32. He added birdies on five of the next seven holes to get to 9 under and distance himself from the field.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.