Day 3 from the Masters

Day 3 of the Masters has begun, but it’s being suspended for rain.

1:26 p.m. The storms that were expected have arrived in Augusta, halting play about five minutes before Tiger Woods was scheduled to tee off. How much of the third round is completed remains to be seen, but there’s no doubt it will not finish on Saturday, leading to a long day on Sunday for the leaders, not unlike 2006 when Phil Mickelson won.

Barely half the field got under way, and there were a couple good starts, suggesting that there may be some room to move up the leaderboard if the round does ever get started again. Defending champion Zach Johnson is 2 under on his day through five holes, making it back to level par, while Boo Weekley is doing the same thing through four holes. Former British Open champion Todd Hamilton was also 2 under on his day through seven, inching up to 1 over.

Woods probably has to be thinking that he needs to get within about three-to-four shots of the leaders before the start of the final round to have a chance. Mickelson will just need to hang close to the leaders, and for the third time in the last five years, may find himself not having to worry much about Woods’ presence on the course. This is Woods’ shot though at doing something he’s never done — storm back to steal a major.

How the leaders will respond will be interesting. The two reigning PGA Tour Rookies of the Year are in the final pairing for the third round. Trevor Immelman and Brandt Snedeker were probably already feeling the pressure, now they have the uncertainty of weather to deal with.

2:24 p.m. They’re back at it, and Woods’ is doing what he needs to do, making birdie at No. 2 to go to 2 under for the tournament. Johnson is up 1 under and the leaders wil be off soon.

2:36 p.m. Saturday is always moving day, and this one is being brought to us by the Zach Johnson Moving Company. He goes out in 32 and is up to 2 under. Imagine if he didn’t make a mess of 17 on Friday evening.

3:21 p.m. Neil Dougherty, Sean O’Hair and Retief Goosen have all moved to 3 under. Goosen may be a name to watch this weekend.

3:35 p.m. It looks like most of the scoring is coming early, all the way trhough the field. Even those off the quick starts — Johnson, Weekley and others — have slowed a bit once they’ve made the turn.

Woods is still at 2 under through 8, and Paul Casey and Mike Weir are the latest to make some early noise.

My main man Snedeker is about to tee off. Time for me to go. Check back after the round for more comments.

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Filed under Designated Hitter, Sports, Sports columns, The Sanford Herald

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