Snedeker Leads Wyndham With Play Held Up Due To Weather

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — Brandt Snedeker is bracing for a long last day at the Wyndham Championship.

Snedeker held a three-stroke lead Saturday when the third round was suspended because of severe weather. He was 16 under for the tournament with 11 holes left in the round at the final event of the PGA Tour’s regular season — and is preparing for the grind of playing 29 holes.

Snedeker says he’s had a few 36-hole days on tour and hopes his adrenalin takes over when he plays the back nine for the final time.

“I’ve got to be really smart about making sure I’m staying hydrated and more than anything else, making sure I don’t have any mental lapses,” Snedeker said. “Kind of the hardest (thing) to do when it’s hot, humid, you’re out there all day. The physical side, we’re used to. Just, you mentally get fatigued and fried make some mistakes. The key for tomorrow — make sure I don’t do that.”

Brian Gay was 13 under through 12 holes, and Trey Mullinax, Keith Mitchell, C.T. Pan and D.A. Points were another stroke back at varying stages of their rounds.

Thirty players were still on the course when play was halted during the mid-afternoon with thunder booming and a threat of lightning.

After a 3-hour, 23-minute delay, organizers chose to hold things up overnight and resume the round at 8 a.m. Sunday. They said they expect the final round to begin in the late morning, grouping the players in threesomes starting from both the first and 10th tees.

When the tournament restarts, Snedeker — who opened with a 59 to become the first tour player this year and just the 10th ever to break 60 — will look to keep himself in position to contend for his ninth victory on tour and his first since the 2016 Farmers Insurance Open.

He said his target final score is 22 under — Henrik Stenson’s tournament-record score from last year — because “I think it’s hard for other guys to get there.”

Snedeker, the 2012 FedEx Cup champion, won the tournament in 2007, the year before it moved across town to par-70 Sedgefield Country Club.

Snedeker’s final 11 holes of the round could wind up being telling: In seven of the 10 previous years since the tournament’s move to this course, the third-round leader or co-leader has gone on to win.

And every leader who finished the third round here at 16 under or better has wound up winning, including Stenson (16 under) last year and Si Woo Kim (18 under) in 2016.

“I’ll kind of do what I have to do to finish the third round, reassess what’s going on, where I am in relation to everybody else and what may be happening, and then kind of go to my fourth round with a new strategy,” Snedeker said.

Snedeker started the day off strong, rolling in a 60-foot chip for birdie on the par-4 second hole, then pushed his lead to three strokes with a birdie on No. 5 that moved him to 16 under. But after he sank a short par putt on the seventh, thunder boomed and the horn sounded to stop play.

Gay was 12 holes into a second consecutive strong round when the delay struck. After shooting a 63 in the second round, he had four birdies and an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole. He placed his 200-yard second shot 10 feet from the flagstick and sank the putt.

His Sunday will start in the intermediate rough on the 13th, some 130 yards from the flagstick.

“It will be a short night and back out early,” Gay said.

LPGA

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Lizette Salas waited patiently for Sung Hyun Park to make a rare mistake Saturday.

When the South Korean mishit her approach shot into the water on the par-4 16th, Salas capitalized quickly.

She rolled in her birdie putt then watched Park make double bogey — a three-shot swing that gave Salas the lead and the momentum heading into the final round of the Indy Women in Tech Championship. Salas closed out her 8-under 64 with a birdie on No. 18 to reach 21 under — two shots ahead of Park and Amy Yang.

“I have been striking the ball really well, and I just had to stay patient,” Salas said. “And yeah, putts dropped for sure. I just really felt comfortable.”

If she keeps it up one more day, Salas could be celebrating her first tour win since the 2014 Kingsmill Championship and her second overall. With five of the next six players on the leader board ranked in the world’s top 30, Salas knows it won’t be easy.

The changing weather conditions weather may not help, either. If the forecast for mostly sunny conditions Sunday holds, the soft greens that have kept scores at near record-lows through the first three rounds could suddenly become quicker and less forgiving.

But the 29-year-old Californian seems to have the perfect touch for this course, which weaves around and inside the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

She shot three sub-par rounds and finished tied for fifth last year here. This year, she has three more sub-par rounds including a course record-tying 62 on Thursday and has been atop the leader board each of the first three days.

“I have been so confident the whole year,” Salas said. “I have a different mentality, I’m a different player. So I’m just going to go out and play as if I’m behind.”

Salas’ toughest challenge still could from Park, who spent most of Saturday flirting with a 54-hole scoring record.

She birdied the last four holes on the front side and made back-to-back birdies on Nos. 13 and 14 to reach 21 under with a chance to become the sixth LPGA player to ever finish three rounds at 23 under.

The miscue at No. 16 changed everything.

She never really recovered after dropping two shots, settling for par on the final two holes for a 66 after shooting 68 and 63 the first two days. Yang finished with a 65 after going 68 and 64.

“I was a little weary with right-to-left wind,” Park said. “I think a little bit of weariness got to me, but overall, it’s OK.”

Defending champion Lexi Thompson was five shots back after completing the final nine of the second round in 2 under 34 and shooting 64 in the afternoon.

She made up ground despite being assessed a one-stroke penalty after hitting her tee shot on No. 10 into the sixth fairway and lifting the ball without authority. Rules officials had implemented the preferred lies rule because more than an inch of rain had doused the course.

Thompson still made her par on the hole though it temporarily broke her momentum after making six birdies on the front nine in her first appearance since taking a monthlong break to recover from physical and mental exhaustion.

“Twenty-seven holes, I definitely had a few tired swings toward the end,” said Thompson, who finished each of the first two rounds with 68s. “But overall, a lot of positives. I hit it great. I made some really good putts.”

Three players — Nasa Hataoka of Japan, Jin Young Ko of South Korea and Mina Harigae — were tied at 15 under. Ko started the third round with a share of the lead but had three bogeys in a round of 70.

Now, all Salas has to do is cash in one more time.

“I’ve been knocking on the door quite a bit in the last four years, haven’t been able to get it done,” Salas said. “I’ve got good players behind me, I’ve just got to play my game.”