Justin Thomas leads by one with another long Sunday ahead
Yong Teck Lim
PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. — Another week, another race to finish on Sunday.
That’s what the players at the Genesis Open will be faced with after third-round play was suspended by darkness on Saturday after a lengthy weather delay during the opening round had forced the tournament to play catch-up ever since.
“There's so much golf to play,” said Adam Scott, who trails leader Justin Thomas by a stroke. The two have only completed two holes in the third round. “It feel likes it's late in the tourney, but it's only halfway.”
Which means Sunday will be a marathon as much as a sprint. Play is scheduled to resume at 6:45 a.m. (PST) and players (competing in threesomes off the first and 10th tees) won’t be re-paired following the completion of the third round. Still, it will be a challenge to avoid going to a Monday finish for the second straight week.
Not helping matters is Sunday’s forecast, which calls for wind and a 40-percent chance of rain around 10 a.m local time. Though it’s unlikely that it will be enough to halt play, it certainly could slow play down.
It will also make things that much tougher at Riveria.
“The forecast is pretty difficult, so I'm going to need to be patient because I'm playing so many holes,” said Thomas, who took the lead alone after reaching the par-5 first in two and rolling in a 13-footer for eagle. “Long day and stay in it emotionally and stay patient, see what we can do.”
He’ll have plenty of company giving chase, with a dozen players within five shots of his lead, including Rory McIlroy, last week’s runner-up Paul Casey, Jordan Spieth, Jon Rahm and last year’s winner Bubba Watson.
Another stroke back is Tiger Woods, who charged up the leader board with a birdie-eagle-birdie-birdie start to his third round, which began on the back nine at Riviera. Woods, who has never won the tournament, is five under on his round and facing an up-and-down to save par on the par-5 17th when he stopped playing.
“It's going to be a long one,” Woods said of Sunday. “Last couple days, it's definitely testing the body.”
And will test everyone to finish by Sunday night.