PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif .– When Sam Burns landed a five-stroke after 36 holes, the question was whether anyone would be able to track him down over the weekend at the Genesis Invitational.
A blustery Saturday, which included a wind delay of nearly four hours, provided answers as the score was limited at the Riviera Country Club.
Twenty-three players did not complete their third rounds, but of the 44 rounds that were completed, only eight golfers beat par.
Burns and his playing partners Jason Kokrak and Tyler McCumber were on the first tee at 10:08 a.m. local time, with Burns seconds away from the throwing of his opening tee shot, when the horn sounded, signaling a stoppage of competition. The sky was clear and the sun was shining, but the winds were reaching around 35 miles per hour and that made the playing conditions dangerous.
“We dropped some communication gear very close to some players on the 14th tee, which really makes us step back and say maybe we need to go ahead and suspend now because it’s getting really more dangerous. there and that was ultimately the decision, ”said Steve Rintoul, senior tournament director around lunchtime.
When reading resumed, Burns began to plug in. He had an 8 bogey and a 10 birdie but in the waning daylight he hit a bad pass, posting back-to-back bogeys and fell to 10 under through 12 holes. The horn sounded at 5:47 p.m. local time, and golfers quickly left the course after a long day.
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“The golf course is playing really hard. It’s a tough golf course with no wind and then you get winds over 20 km / h and that makes it even more difficult, ”Burns said. “Even the downwind holes weren’t that much easier because it was hard to stop him there on the green. There are not a lot of opportunities today. “
His last win came at the 2018 Savannah Golf Championship on the Korn Ferry Tour, but a win at Riviera on Sunday would mean a ton for former LSU Tiger: a first place check good for $ 1,674,000 and a PGA exemption. Three-year round.
But he has work to do. His lead was reduced to two strokes over Matthew Fitzpatrick, who had four bogeys but countered that with seven birdies. He completed 17 holes on Saturday, but will have to get up early to play a hole when play resumes.
Wyndham Clark, world No.1 Dustin Johnson and Max Homa are tied for third with 7 under. Patrick Cantlay is only sixth at 6 under. Matt Jones, Talor Gooch and Tony Finau have all completed their third rounds and those three are tied for seventh at 5 under with Alex Noren and Jason Kokrak, who must complete their third rounds. The round of Finau was started by two eagles.
Jordan Spieth made noise again on Saturday. Two weeks ago at TPC Scottsdale, he shot a thunderous third round 61 at the Waste Management Phoenix Open en route to a tie for fourth. Last week at Pebble Beach, Spieth was tied for third.
At Riviera, he birdied the first hole, then had to wait over four hours for his next birdie on the third, but he did, thanks to a 37-foot putt.
He also birdied for sixth to reach 9 under for the tournament, but then fell back with bogeys to numbers 7, 8, 12, 14 and 15. He is tied for 12th with Cameron Smith and Tyler McCumber.
Francesco Molinari, who recently joined Riviera, shot a 1 under 70. He called it a tricky day.
“It’s good to be done and anything below par today was a very good score,” he said, adding that he had never seen the wind blow here like this before. . It also made the wagering conditions difficult.
“The wind makes it more difficult, but the greens are as good as I’ve seen them here for the past three years,” said Molinari.
The third round will resume Sunday at 6:50 am, when it will be around 52 degrees. The final round will start after the reset based on the scores of 54 holes.