Garcia shares lead at rainy Wyndham
Saturday, August 22, 2009
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Sergio Garcia and Chris Riley were both 13 under par through 10 holes to share the clubhouse lead Saturday night when play was stopped midway through the third round of the rain-plagued Wyndham Championship.
Steve Marino, Fred Couples, Kevin Stadler and Justin Rose were 12 under and Brandt Snedeker and Bill Haas were 11 under through varying stages of their rounds when play was suspended due to darkness.
Tournament officials said the round was scheduled to resume Sunday at 7:30 a.m., with a second cut and the final round to begin at roughly 11 a.m.
During yet another long day with abbreviated play at the Donald Ross-designed course at Sedgefield Country Club – where two weather delays combined to last nearly 5 1/2 hours – there were a few highlights.
Marino, who started the round six strokes off the pace, had seven birdies to vault up the leaderboard – including one on the par-3 No. 16 in which his tee shot landed 7 inches from the flagstick.
Couples, the U.S. President’s Cup captain who’s still considering his final picks, birdied four of his first eight holes to move into contention for his first victory since 2003. And Rose had five birdies to rally after starting the round four strokes back.
But once again, the dominant storyline at this stop-and-start tournament was the weather.
Play was halted twice during Day 3 because of heavy rains and lightning. After the second round was completed mid-morning, the start of Round 3 was pushed back 2 1/2 hours while a band of thunderstorms passed through.
Then, nearly four hours into the third round, everyone went scurrying for cover again while another wave of storms pelted the central North Carolina piedmont. Cups overflowed with water, fairways more closely resembled streams and power was briefly knocked out to the clubhouse during a television interview with Couples.
After a 2-hour, 49-minute delay – the third weather-related suspension of the tournament – play finally resumed for about an hour before dusk fell. Organizers already had been racing to play catch-up after a 4-hour delay during the first round.
Riley opened his round with an eagle on No. 1, using a 9-iron to knock his approach shot about 165 yards into the hole. After the delay, he ran a 55-foot eagle putt to within 3 feet on No. 5 and tapped it in for birdie.
The former UNLV player who’s contending for his second top-10 finish of the year – and second career PGA Tour victory – shared the 36-hole lead with Maggert and Ryan Moore at 11-under 129.
Standing in the way: A weather-created, 26-hole marathon Sunday for both Riley and Garcia. Then again, that’s nothing new during this tournament for Riley – who took his first lead Friday while playing 21 holes.
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