McDowell makes hay as Lowry plans escape from storm-hit LA

McDowell makes hay as Lowry plans escape from storm-hit LA
It was windy at Riviera on Friday

It was windy at Riviera on Friday

Shane Lowry sounded like a man planning to make an early exit from LAX but Pádraig Harrington and Graeme McDowell were sitting pretty in the weather-delayed Genesis Open in Los Angeles.

Just 24 players managed to finish their second rounds before play was suspended for the day due to a dangerous weather situation as winds gusting to up to 50 mph blew down tree limbs at Riviera Country Club.

Lowry returned to the course for a 7am restart to complete the last two holes of his first round.

While he parred the 17th and birdied the 18th from 42 feet to post a two-over 73, he had little luck in round two and was four over for the day, six over for the tournament and heading home with two holes still to play.

He started on the 10th and did well to make bogey at the short, par-four after taking two attempts to escape from the left greenside bunker he'd found with his 50-yard pitch from the left rough.

He then bogeyed the 14th and followed a birdie at the first with dropped three shots in a row from his 14th hole to be six over and six shots outside the projected cutline in a share of 128th with just two holes to complete.

Whether he completes them in the morning remains to be seen but it looked unlikely that he was planning to stick around  

Asked on Twitter by some of the supporters who'd followed him if he'd join them for a pint in an Irish bar in Santa Monica, he replied: "Would love to only flying home this evening. Have one for me."

Harrington did not get to start his second round but he wasn't complaining as he watched the misery from the comfort of indoors.

His 67 on Thursday was still good enough for a share of 10th on four-under par,  just one stroke behind early clubhouse leader Percy Cameron and three behind overnight leader Sam Saunders (64), who did not start, and Jhonattan Vegas, who got to seven-under-par for the tournament with four holes to play.

McDowell is tied for 20th on three-under-par after he had just 11 putts on the back nine and added a 70 to his opening 69.

The Portrush man made two birdies and two bogeys in his first 10 holes before hitting a series of cracking approaches down the stretch to pick up three birdies in his last eight holes.

Following a 93-yard approach to five feet at the 11th, he hit a 194-yard second inside four feet at the 15th and a 165-yard tee shot to four and a half feet at the 16th. Needless to say, he made all three putts for birdies, then chipped dead to save par at the 18th

As for Lowry, his long game continued to let him down.

He hit just three of 13 fairways and, unsurprisingly, only seven of 16 greens in regulation.

Add to that the fact that, bar a 17 footer for par at the third (his 12th), the next longest putt he holed was a four and a half footer for bogey at his 16th hole, the seventh, before trudging back up the hill to the clubhouse in wind and rain more reminiscent of Rosses Point than Los Angeles.

Harrington will now get to start on a soft course early on Saturday and while a longer Riviera won't help a man struggling for power due to a niggling neck injury, he got the right side of the draw this time

Last week’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am champion Jordan Spieth is one of six players tied for fourth at five-under-par. 

The nine-time PGA Tour winner was three-under for his second round through 16 holes when play was called off for the day and conscious that he may have a lot of ground to make up on the leaders if they get soft, calm conditions early on Saturday.