Day, Compton share lead in Zurich
Australian Jason Day and Erik Compton shared the lead on Saturday when the third round of the U.S. PGA Tour’s Zurich Classic was halted by darkness.
Day, ranked sixth in the world, had seized a one-stroke halfway lead earlier Saturday when he completed a second-round 65 for a 12-under par total of 132.
He was one-under par through three holes of the third round while Compton vaulted into a share of the lead on 13-under par thanks to four birdies in his first five holes of the third round.
After weather delays on the first two days, third-round action was halted Saturday for five hours and 43 minutes by more storms.
Organizers managed to get everyone underway before darkness fell, and insisted they hope to get a full 72 holes in and not shorten the event.
“Fifty- four holes is not in the mix,” said Slugger White, PGA Tour vice president of rules and competitions.
If more delays materialize on Sunday, White said, “we would be here Monday.”
A late start would make for an extra-quick turnaround for seven players in the field who are scheduled to compete in the World Golf Championships Match Play Championship that starts in San Francisco on Wednesday.
That group includes Day, who birdied two of his final four holes in the second round on Saturday morning to move atop the leaderboard.
He moved to 13-under for the tournament with a four-foot birdie at the second hole of the third round.
He had knocked his approach at the par-four fourth to 31 feet when the horn sounded to stop play.
“A very patient day,” the Aussie said. “We’ve had days like this on the PGA Tour before, but obviously, I haven’t had too many with the lead. It’s something where I just need to keep staying patient.
“Everyone’s going through this. I know there’s going to be a lot of people frustrated with how long the waits are, I can’t be one of those guys.”
Compton, a two-time heart transplant recipient, had two birdies over his final five holes of the second round to move within three strokes of the lead.
He opened the third round with a 21-foot birdie putt at the first, and after the long delay birdied the second, fourth and fifth.
Blayne Barber, David Hearn, Justin Rose and Jerry Kelly were one stroke off the lead at minus-12. Barber, who had played 11 holes, was the only one in the group to have made the turn.