On a cold, wet Saturday afternoon in Scottsdale, Ariz., Mark Calcavecchia continued his march to victory at the Phoenix Open. One day after tying the TPC of Scottsdale course record with a 60, Calcavecchia played bogey-free golf through eight holes before play was suspended at 4:40pm local time due to lightning and hail.
Using mittens he borrowed from a maintenance worker to keep his hands warm between shots, Calcavecchia maintained his five-shot lead by carding a pair of birdies and six pars over eight holes. He currently stands at 19-under-par; five shots clear of Scott Verplank and six shots removed from Rocco Mediate.
'It really wasn't that bad once it stopped raining,' Calcavecchia said. 'We'll just bundle up again tomorrow and go at it.'
Thirty-six players were forced to complete their second rounds on Saturday. They then faced another delay as overnight showers led to unplayable conditions in the early morning hours. Play eventually resumed at 10:30am.
Once the second round came to a conclusion and a cut was made, 71 players went out in threesomes and on split tees to complete as many holes as possible in their third rounds, though no one was able to finish.
Under a steady rain and in 40-degree temperatures, Rocco Mediate and Scott Verplank tried to turn up the heat on Calcavecchia.
Mediate spun a three-quarter sand-wedge from 69 yards into the hole for an eagle at the par-five third. He then rolled in a 35-foot birdie putt on the fourth. At that point the 1999 Phoenix Open champion was within four shots of the '89 and '92 winner of this event at 14-under. However, that's as close as anyone would get to Calcavecchia on Saturday.
Calc matched Mediate's birdie at the fourth to reclaim a five-stroke advantage. He then posted four straight pars before the horn blew.
Verplank birdied the second and third holes to move to 14-under, where he finished after parring holes four through eight. Mediate dropped to 13-under following a bogey at the par-three seventh.
'Nobody's going to get wound up overnight because we didn't get a chance to finish,' Calcavecchia said. 'It will be fun playing 27 (holes) tomorrow.'
Tiger Woods stands at 6-under-par for the tournament. He is 2-under-par through 17 holes in his third round.
Play is scheduled to resume at 8:00am, though more delays are expected on Sunday. Early-morning frost warnings are anticipated.
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