Germany’s Alex Cejka literally dashed into a share of the lead going into the second round of the FBR Open in Arizona.
Six under par with a hole to play, Cejka and his two playing partners ran to the final tee so they could finish their round in the fading light.
And by saving a par four from a greenside bunker – “it was almost too dark, so I just hit the sand” – the 35-year-old matched American Steve Lowery’s much earlier 65.
“We’re glad we’re in – it’s better than coming at 7.30am in the morning to play one hole,” said Cejka.
“I think the first year I played here we had to stop on 17 and it’s a little disadvantage. But this time we made it, so it’s alright.”
Cejka, now eligible for Ryder Cup points after rejoining the European Tour this season, lost his US tour card last year, but then finished second at the qualifying school.
“I’m just trying not to make stupid mistakes. I had a great rhythm today, what I was working on for the last couple weeks, and I’m just going to go out and try my best,” he said.
Lowery, a 45-year-old whose last win was six years ago, had eight birdies just four days after finishing the Buick Invitational with a round of 80.
His fellow Americans Brent Geiberger, James Driscoll, Jerry Smith and Bo Van Pelt finished one behind and France’s Thomas Levet and Norwegian Henrik Bjornstad were in the group just two back.
England’s Justin Rose was bitterly disappointed not be alongside them – or even better. He stood five-under with four to play, but bogeyed three of those holes and so had to settle for a 69 along with defending champion Phil Mickelson and Londoner Brian Davis.
Jose Maria Olazabal, who lost a play-off to Tiger Woods last Sunday, and fellow Spaniard Sergio Garcia turned in 70s, while world number two Vijay Singh has six shots to make up following a 71.
It was largely a day to forget for Greg Owen and Graeme McDowell. They scored 75 and 76 respectively, McDowell avoiding last place only with birdies at the final two holes in his first US tour appearance of the year.