THE Weather plagued Zurich Classic has been shortened to 54 holes – provided conditions behave on Monday.
Not a single player completed their third round, the final group of Brian Stuard, Jhonattan Vegas and Jamie Lovemark playing just five holes before the heavens opened and play was suspended for the day.
Jason Day is the highest placed Australian, stuck in limbo at 10-under three shots back after playing eight holes of his third round.
The World Number One is remaining positive in the frustrating conditions, however he said the tournament has, ironically given the conditions, been transformed from an endurance race to a sprint.
“We always say golf is a marathon, not a sprint,” Day told Golf Channel.
“This is kind of a sprint now.”
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Stuart Appleby is the next best Aussie after completing 13 holes of his third round to be 9-under with five holes remaining. John Senden is on the same mark though has played only eight holes of his third round.
A further shot back sits Ryan Ruffels, who started hot with two birdies through seven holes but bogeys on the 8th and 9th brought him back tothe field momentaril.
However, the 17-year-old hit back with birdies at the first two holes on the back-nine before play was suspended.
Cameron Percy is T24 at 7-under through nine,while Mark Leishman is 6-under through seven holes, and running with a fair bit of zip after two birdies and an eagle prior to the weather's intervention.
Geoff Ogilvy is four-under through 13 holes while the remaining two Aussies, Aaron Baddeley and Rhein Gibson, are both three-under and have played 10 and six holes respectively.
The lead is currently a two way tie between Brian Stuard and Jhonattan Vegas at 13-under with both having played five holes of their third round.
If the weather fails to improve, officials will be left with no choice but to shorten the event at TPC of Louisiana to 36 holes, which would see Stuard crowned the victor. The win would be unofficial, however the American would still receive FedEx Cup points and earnings.
Despite the circumstances it would be his first triumph in 119 starts on the PGA Tour, and the 33-year-old admitted it’s a difficult scenario but one that is out of his control.
“I guess it’s a little difficult,” he told Golf Channel.
“But it is what it is. Can’t control the rain and whenever they tell us we’re going to go play, we’re going to go play.
“We have been through this before. It’s just another tournament.”
The Zurich Classic is the fourth event over the past decade to be shortened to 54 holes and the first since 2013. There is more rain forecast to hit TPC Louisiana, which has already soaked up about five inches since Wednesday.
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ZURICH CLASSIC OF NEW ORLEANS THIRD ROUND LEADERBOARD:
|T1||BRIAN STUARD||-13 (THRU 50|
|T1||jhonattan vegas||-13 (THRU 5)|
|3||BOBBY WYATT||-12 (THRU 9)|
|4||JAMIE LOVEMARK||-11 (THRU 5)|
|T5||JASON DAY (AUS)||-10 (THRU 8)|
|T5||CHARLEY HOFFMAN||-10 (THRU 14)|
|T5||SCOTT STALLINGS||-10 (THRU 14)|
|T5||CHRIS KIRK||-10 (THRU 9)|
|T5||CHARLES HOWELL III||-10 (THRU 6)|
|T10||STUART APPLEBY (AUS)||-9 (THRU 13)|
|T10||JOHN SENDEN (AUS)||-9 (THRU 8)|
|T14||RYAN RUFFELS (AUS)||-8 (THRU 11)|
|T24||CAMERON PERCY (AUS)||-7 (THRU 9)|
|T33||MARC LEISHMAN (AUS)||-6 (THRU 7)|
|T50||GEOFF OGILVY (AUS)||-4 (THRU 13)|
|T57||AARON BADDELEY (AUS)||-3 (THRU 10)|
|T57||rhein gibson (AUS)||-3 (THRU 6)|
|MC||ROD PAMPLING (AUS)|
|MC||robert allenby (AUS)|
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