By Thomas Dodd
- Rain, thunder and lightening delays play at 98th PGA Championship at Baltusrol
- Final five groups (ten players) must wait until Sunday morning to start their third rounds
- Monday finish looking very likely with uncertain weather forecast scheduled for Sunday
BALTUSROL, SPRINGFIELD, NEW JERSEY, USA – Bad weather caused the postponement of the third round of the USPGA Championship on Saturday afternoon – before any of the leaders had even teed off.
Ten players were yet to start their third round as the threat of thunder and lightening in the area ended play for the day with just over thirty players in the clubhouse having played 54 holes.
Tournament organisers have taken the decision to not re-pair in between the final two rounds in an effort to finish the final major of the season as scheduled on Sunday evening.
This will mean current pace setters Jimmy Walker and Robert Streb will play in the final group on Sunday regardless of their position on the leaderboard.
Of those who did get round, Ireland’s Padraig Harrington was the biggest mover, as the 2008 PGA Champion fired a 65 to climb to 51 places into a tie for tenth on five under.
His five under par round was matched by Kevin Kisner, who lept up into a tie for sixth alongside Martin Kaymer, Brookes Koepka and Patrick Reed.
England’s Justin Rose also made an impression up the leaderboard, a 66 helping him reach two under par for the tournament.
2005 Champion Phil Mickelson, who triumphed at Baltusrol in a Monday finish, will not be repeating his heroics of eleven years ago after a 68 left him on only one under par for the week overall.
Lefty did however believe history was in the offing for somebody in New Jersey by saying a 61 or 62 could be possible for the first time at a major championship thanks to the soft calm conditions the field will face on Sunday morning.
Walker and Streb lead the way on nine under par, two clear of Argentine Emiliano Grillo and defending champion Jason Day on seven under, with Open winner Henrik Stenson a shot further adrift on minus six.
But with more unpredictable weather forecast for tomorrow, it is likely the players will be facing a first major Monday finish since the 2015 British Open at St Andrews and the PGA themselves may well be in the firing line after refusing to move up tee times or send those who made the cut out in three balls to speed up play on Saturday morning.
The last time the USPGA Championship required an extra day to crown a champion was at this venue eleven years ago.
Leaderboard after Day 3: (US Unless stated)
*= begun/finished third round
-9 Jimmy Walker, Robert Streb
-7 Emiliano Grillo (ARG), Jason Day (AUS)
-6 Henrik Stenson (SWE)
-5 Martin Kaymer (GER) Patrick Reed, Brookes Koepka, Kevin Kisner* (F)
-4 Hideki Matsuyama (JPN), Jamie Donaldson (WAL), Rickie Fowler, Harris English, Padraig Harrington* (F), Webb Simpson* (6) Williams McGirt* (2), Daniel Summerhays* (2)
Selected Others (GB Unless Stated)
-3 Jordan Spieth* (USA) (1), Tyrell Hatton* (13), Paul Casey* (10), Russell Knox* (F)
-2 Justin Rose* (F), Ross Fisher* (16)
+1 , Andrew Johnston* (11), Phil Mickelson* (USA) (F)
E Andy Sullivan* (11)
+3 Lee Westwood* (14)
+5 Danny Willett* (F)
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