Weather halts play during third round

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AVONDALE, La. --- Woody Austin, Nicholas Thompson, Peter Lonard and Briny Baird topped the Zurich Classic leaderboard at 8 under Saturday when rain, lightning and thunder forced the suspension of third-round play.

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Co-leader Woody Austin hits from a bunker to the first green. He had seven holes to play when the round was suspended.  Associated Press
Associated Press
Co-leader Woody Austin hits from a bunker to the first green. He had seven holes to play when the round was suspended.

Play was stopped at 1:48 p.m., then called off for the day at 5:35 p.m. The 46 players unable to finish will try to complete the round this morning.

"We think we can get it all in, but everyone will have to keep moving," PGA Tour media official Joan Alexander said.

Austin had seven holes to play, Thompson eight, Lonard 14 and Baird 15. John Senden was the leader in the clubhouse at 7 under after shooting 66.

"I think the golf course has gotten progressively easier as the week has gone on because when we practiced on Tuesday it was really dry and bouncy," Senden said.

Andres Romero, Tim Petrovic, Steve Elkington and John Merrick also were 7 under.

"We're going to keep the same tee times tomorrow," said Tim Petrovic, who was 5 under for the round with three holes to play. "There are some guys who are going to get a little bit of an advantage from it, but hopefully it won't be a situation where there's too much advantage."

The delay bothered Austin.

"I didn't get off to a great start, but made a couple of birdies to offset a kind of shaky start," Austin said. "Unfortunately for me, I had momentum on my side. I just birdied nine, 10, and 11 and now I've been stuck for the last four hours."

Eighty-one players made the cut at even-par 144 on Friday. Under the tour's revised cut policy, the field would have been cut to the low 70 players and ties after the third round. But because of the rain delay, everyone will be able to play today.

"That's correct," tournament director Arvin Ginn said. "They're now entitled to play, and we had a couple of players that were already home. One was in Orlando. We've already called him and he's coming back."


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