KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. –- Rory McIlroy had moved into the PGA Championship lead, while Tiger Woods’ weekend major struggles continued, before inclement weather caused play to be suspended Saturday at the Ocean Course.
McIlroy, thanks to a 4-under 32 on the front nine, was tied with Vijay Singh at 6 under. Adam Scott, looking to make amends for his Open Championship collapse, was one shot behind. Scott also shot 32 on his opening nine. Carl Pettersson, one of three co-leaders entering the day, was another stroke back after playing his first eight holes in even par.
McIlroy overcame an odd situation – his tee shot on the drivable par-4 third hole became lodged in a tree limb, but he was able to save par after an unplayable-lie penalty – to make five birdies in his first eight holes and take the outright lead. He bogeyed No. 9, though.
Play was suspended at 4:50 p.m. It was uncertain when, or if, play would continue Saturday. Woods could use the break. He started the day tied for the lead with Pettersson and Singh, but had dropped to 11th with three bogeys in his first seven holes. He hit approach shots left of the green on Nos. 4 and 5 to make bogey, then made 6 on the par-5 seventh hole after twice finding sandy areas. He’ll face an 8-foot par putt at No. 8 when play resumes.
Woods also was the co-leader at this year’s U.S. Open. He shot 75-73 on the weekend to finish 21st. He was in contention at the Open Championship after consecutive 67s, but weekend rounds of 70-73, including a triple-bogey on the front nine of the final round, left him four shots behind Ernie Els.
Scoring was lower Saturday before play was called. Seven rounds in the 60s had been recorded before the delay. Bo Van Pelt, who shot 67 Saturday, was the leader among players who’d completed 54 holes. He was at 3-under 213. Steve Stricker and Jimmy Walker also shot 67 Saturday to reach red numbers. Stricker finished at 2-under 214; Walker was another shot back.
Winds were much calmer after Friday’s tough conditions that resulted in a 78.1 strokes average, the highest in tournament history.