Fourth-ranked Justin Thomas holds a one-stroke lead over Adam Scott of Australia in the rain-delayed Genesis Open and faces the prospect of playing 34 holes in more iffy weather on Sunday at Riviera Country Club http://www.therivieracountryclub.com in Pacific Palisades.
Thomas, who opened with scores of 66-65, sank a 13-foot eagle putt on the first hole of the third round and was 2-under-par through two holes and 13-under for the tournament before darkness halted play for the third consecutive day in the Los Angeles-area event.
“That’s weird to say,” Thomas said about rising early in the morning for the third straight day to start at 6:45 a.m. on Sunday with an approach shot on the par-4 third hole. “I think I’ve seen briefly the forecast is pretty difficult, I’m going to need to be patient because I’m playing so many holes.
“But a long day and stay in it emotionally and stay patient (and) see what we can do.”
Officials have been playing catch-up since the first round was delayed for seven hours by rain on Thursday and the temperature will be in the 40s when play starts on Sunday, with the forecast predicting a 40 percent chance of showers before noon.
Phil Mickelson won the rain-delayed AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am on Monday last week and chances are play might go to an extra day for the second straight week.
Scott, who won at Riviera in 2005 when the tournament was shortened to 36 holes because of rain, also opened with 66-65 and was 1-under for two holes in round three after making a birdie on the first hole.
“There’s so much golf to play,” said Scott, whose only bogey in 38 holes came with a three-putt on the 17th hole in the second round. “ … I’m happy with what I did out there. I’m not really influencing what (Thomas) does at this point in the tourney. It feels like it’s late in the tourney, but it’s only halfway.
“Yeah, that’s good if I’m keeping up with (Thomas) or ahead of him. … It’s a big day, a lot of golf. It’s a great day to get your rhythm early and make a move. There’s a lot of guys up there at the moment … if it’s Justin or I, then you can kind of separate and hopefully by the middle of the final round you’ve taken a whole bunch of guys out of the equation.”
Patrick Rodgers of Stanford, who opened with 66-67, sank a 22-foot eagle putt on the first hole in round three and was two shots back in a tie for third with J.B. Holmes (63-69), who was 1-under after two holes.
Michael Thompson (69-64) was 1-under through two holes and one more back in solo fifth, while Kyle Jones (68-67) was 2-under after three holes and four behind in sixth.
Ninth-ranked Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland (72-63) was 1-under through three and five down in a tie for seventh with Paul Casey of England (70-67), who was 2-under after four holes, and Tony Finau (66-68), who was even through two.
Defending champion Bubba Watson (71-66), trying to win at Riviera for the fourth time in six years, was 1-under through four and six back in a tie for 10th with sixth-ranked Jon Rahm of Spain (67-70, 1-under after four), Jordan Spieth (64-70, 1-over after four), and Kelly Kraft (69-66, 2-under through five).
Tournament host Tiger Woods (70-71) had an eagle and three birdies on the first four holes of round three and was tied for 14th; fifth-ranked Bryson DeChambeau of Clovis (70-68, 1-under through six) was tied for 20th; third-ranked Dustin Johnson (73-66, even after nine) was tied for 33rd, and two-time champion Mickelson (72-69, even through six) was in a tie for 48th that included seventh-ranked Xander Schauffele of La Jolla and San Diego State (74-68, 1-under after three).
For complete results, visit https://www.pgatour.com/competition/2019/genesis-open/leaderboard.html