Saturday, November 18, 2017
Golf

Rain suspends third round of PGA Championship with Rory McIlroy, Vijay Singh tied for lead

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KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. — Bo Van Pelt annihilated the Ocean Course on Saturday afternoon, turning in a scintillating 5-under-par 67 during the third round of the PGA Championship.

The course gave him its best shot. The winds weren't as bullish as Friday, but they were shifty. Still, Van Pelt logged birdie after birdie en route to a virtually flawless, bogey-free round.

As he walked off the course, he had pulled within two shots of then-leaders Vijay Singh and Tiger Woods.

Then, he said this:

"I did what I could do, and I'm sure before I go to bed tonight I'll know kind of where I stand."

Yeah, about that .

Heavy rains moved in late Saturday afternoon and suspended play with the leaders still on the course.

Third-round play will resume at 7:45 a.m. today, with the final round beginning at approximately 11:44. The fourth round will be played in groups of three with half starting on No. 1 and the other half beginning on No. 10.

Rory McIlroy had surged into the lead at 7 under after carding 32 through nine holes. Singh was tied with McIlroy at 6 under. Singh was on No. 8 when the tempest blew in.

McIlroy credited better pin placements and several holes where the tees had been moved up for the lower scores. He, as well as most of the leaders, will be playing 27 holes today.

"I don't mind," he said. "It's nice to go into the final day — hopefully — in a great position. I don't think you can let it affect you at all. The way I'm looking at it, I'm going into the final day of the final major of the season tied for the lead."

McIlroy's round was saved by a blimp. After beginning with a pair of birdies, his tee shot on No. 3 flew into a tree. An overhead television blimp caught the ball's trajectory and a member of the television crew directed McIlroy to its location, wedged between the bark and the trunk.

He took a drop and managed to salvage par.

"How can it be stuck in this thing?" McIlroy said. "There's no branches, no leaves for it to get stuck in, but it sort of wedged itself between the tree bark and the actual tree, so I was happy to get up-and-down for (par) and move on."

The savage downpour perhaps saved Woods, who was tumbling down the leaderboard with bogeys on three of his last four holes. He was at 1-under par overall and 3 over through seven holes.

The meanest course in PGA Championship history (Saturday's 78.10 average was the highest ever) had undergone something of a change of heart before the rains and yielded five scores in the 60s after one on Friday. Joining Van Pelt on the south side of 70 were Steve Stricker (67), Jimmy Walker (67), David Lynn (68) and Padraig Harrington (69).

Harrington said the suspension could help or hinder the cause of those who finished before the rain.

"The guys might come back out and it could be flat calm," he said. "It could be a good break, but it could be a bad break as well. We'll just have to see how it all pans out."

Several other golfers were well on their way to low scores. Among them was Adam Scott, who was at 4 under through nine, one stroke back.

First-round leader Carl Pettersson was also 4 under while playing even through eight holes.

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