Rain won’t go away at PGA
BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. -- J.B. Holmes faces a potential marathon of punishment in today’s conclusion of the 90th PGA Championship.
If he’s going to hold on to his lead and win his first major championship, he’ll have to survive 36 holes on Oakland Hills’ wicked layout.
Holmes was among six players who did not even tee off before Saturday’s third round was suspended because of passing storms.
“It’s going to be like college again, playing 36 holes in a day,” said Holmes, 26, who holds a one-shot lead. “You just have to deal with it.”
Play was halted at 2:16 p.m. and did not resume. Only 25 players among the 73 who made the cut were able to finish the third round, including Andres Romero, who shot a five-under-par 65 to move up to two over, three behind Holmes.
Play will resume at 7:15 a.m. EDT today with Holmes and Charlie Wi scheduled to go off in the final pairing at 7:40 a.m.
The final round is scheduled to begin at 12:20 p.m. with threesomes going off on the first and 10th tees. The leaders are scheduled to go off at 2:20 p.m. (11:20 PDT).
A potential break today may come with softer conditions, making Oakland Hills’ difficult greens more receptive to approach shots.
PGA of America Managing Director of Championships Kerry Haigh said a half-inch of rain had already fallen Saturday when it was announced at 6:28 p.m. that the third round was postponed until today. Today’s weather forecast is better, though there’s a chance of isolated afternoon showers.
“I think it’s fair to say [the greens] will be significantly more receptive than they have been the first two-and-a-half days,” Haigh said.
Actually, Saturday’s third round began with players noticing a slightly more favorable setup.
Argentina’s Romero tied the competitive course record with his 65, jumping 40 spots to a tie for eighth. He will get this morning to rest before the final round.
“I played great,” said Romero, who barely made the cut. “I can’t believe it, I have a chance. It’s great to be here.”
Colombia’s Camilo Villegas was four under through 14 holes when play was called.
Steve Flesch birdied two of the five holes he played to move two shots off the lead.
“It will be challenging, because even though everything else will be softer, that rough is going to be thicker and heavier now,” Flesch said.
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Taming the monster
Rounds of 65 shot in major championships at Oakland Hills:
*--* PLAYER ROUND EVENT Andres Romero Third 2008 PGA Championship Tom Lehman Third 1996 U.S. Open T.C. Chen First 1985 U.S. Open Denis Watson Second 1985 U.S. Open Andy North Second 1985 U.S. Open Alan Tapie Second 1979 PGA Championship David Graham Fourth 1979 PGA Championship *--*
TODAY ON TV
TNT, 8 a.m.-11 a.m. PDT
Channel 2, beginning at 11 a.m.
PARTIAL THIRD-ROUND SCORES, D11