Soon after Nicklaus made his birdie putt and safely entered the clubhouse, there was another rumbling ' this time from above. Thunder and the threat of lightning forced officials to suspend play at 4:45 p.m. ET in the 22nd U.S. Senior Open; it was then called for good 90 minutes later, when a storm of apocalyptic nature rained down.
Fourteen players still have to complete their third rounds. They will do so at 7 a.m. Sunday. The final round is scheduled to begin at 9:15 a.m. with players going out in threesomes rather than twosomes because of the threat of more bad weather.
For the third consecutive day, only one player will go to sleep in Peabody, Mass., under par. That player is 60-year-old Jim Colbert.
Colbert is 1-under through 15 holes. The suspension couldnt have come at a worse time for Colbert. He had just eagled the 14th and birdied the 15th to take sole possession of the lead.
Larry Nelson and Isao Aoki are each at even par. Nelson is through 13; while Aoki, who led entering the round, is through 12.
Four players are tied at 1-over, none of who have completed their rounds. Bob Gilder, Dana Quigley, Gil Morgan and Bruce Fleisher are all just two off the pace.
But the biggest name on the leaderboard currently resides in 8th place. Nicklaus shot a back-nine 32 to finish 54 holes at 3-over-par.
For the second straight day, Nicklaus shot 2-over 37 on the front nine. But after a bogey at the 10th, the two-time Senior Open champion finally found his fading form at the 14th.
Nicklaus laced a 1-iron on the par-5 to the back of the green and then rolled in a 17-foot eagle putt from the fringe.
That got Jack back to 4-over. He then chipped in for birdie at the par-4 17th, and concluded his round with another red number on the home hole.
At the 18th, Nicklaus hit a 9-iron to the back of the green, where it bounced off the collar and rolled back within five feet of the hole.
Of course, he made the birdie putt to pull within three of the lead.
I havent been in contention in so longI cant remember how long its been, said the 61-year-old Nicklaus. Its nice to have a chance going into the last round. Im really looking forward to it.
Nicklaus is in search of his ninth career Senior major, and first overall win since the 1996 Tradition.
Colbert has to be more surprised than anyone to be leading. After poor practice sessions, he shot a first-round 5-over-par 75.
He fought back with a Friday 67, and remained at 2-over for the tournament entering the 14th Saturday.
Just shy of the green in two, Colbert chipped in for eagle to pull into a tie at the top at even par.
One hole later, he took the outright lead by placing his tee shot on the par-3 15th to six feet.
This may be the best Ive ever played, said Colbert. Its been fun, Im really getting a kick out of (the way Im playing).
The Salem Country Club course seemed to win-out once again, as only six players were able to post a red number.
One of those players was Jay Sigel. The 1982 and 83 U.S. Amateur champion tied a tournament record with a 6-under-par 64. Hes tied for ninth place at 3-over.
Full-field scores from the 22nd U.S. Senior Open