Justin Thomas started the third round with five straight pars and that was enough to give him a one-stroke lead over Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland and Brooks Koepka when inclement weather halted play for the day in the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club www.eastlakegolfclub.com in Atlanta.
Two lightning strikes hit the course 28 minutes after play was halted and one that struck near the 16th tee injured six people, five of whom were transported by ambulance to nearby hospitals. Another fan was treated on-site and released.
Reportedly, none of the injuries were considered life-threatening.
Only four players in the 30-man field finished the third round and the rest will return at 8 a.m. Sunday to finish the holes they have remaining, with the final round scheduled for the afternoon. The forecast lists a chance for more showers.
Thomas, the 2017 FedEx Cup champion who is trying to join Tiger Woods as the only two-time winners of the season-long race, entered the week in the lead at 10-under-par under the new tournament format after taking the points lead by winning the BMW Championship last week.
McIlroy, the 2016 FedEx Cup winner, made a bogey on the first hole before running off four straight pars, while the top-ranked Koepka carded bogeys on the first and third holes to fall out of a tie for the lead with Thomas, who is at 12-under.
Xander Schauffele, from La Jolla and San Diego State, was 1-over after five holes and two shots back in fourth, while Chez Reavie was 3-under after nine holes for the day and one more down in a tie for fifth with Paul Casey of England, who was even through six holes.
Patrick Reed, who won The Northern Trust two weeks ago to open the playoffs, was 1-under through seven holes and five back in seventh, while U.S. Open champion Gary Woodland was 3-under after 12 and seven back in a tie for eighth with Adam Scott of Australia, even through seven; Matt Kuchar, 1-over after 7, and Patrick Cantlay of Los Alamitos and UCLA, 2-over after six.
Brandt Snedeker, the 2012 FedEx Cup winner, shot 67 and is tied for 22nd, while defending FedEx Cup champion Justin Rose of England was 1-over after 14 holes in a tie for 24th.
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