Third Round Postponed in New Zealand

RSS

Darkness, brought on by a near three-and-a-half hour rain delay, postponed the third round of the New Zealand Open in Wellington.
 
When all was said and done, Tiger Woods found himself six shots off the lead, with the final group through 12 holes when play was called at 8:25 p.m. local time (2:25 a.m. ET).
 
Woods, who was 10 strokes back after double bogeying the first hole, shot a 4-under 67 to finish at 3-under-par for the tournament.
 
Overnight co-leader Stephen Leaney is tied with Steve Alker at 9-under; the two men are through 12 and 13 holes, respectively. Fellow co-leader James McLean is still at 7-under through 12 holes, even par for the day.
 
Michael Campbell was able to finish his third round, shooting 5-under 66 to move to 8-under. Craig Parry is also at minus 8 through 14 holes.
 
Officials said the third round would resume at 7:00 a.m. Sunday, with plans to play all 72 holes; though, rain is again in the forecast.
 
Once the third round has been completed, the field will then begin the final round after a short break, with players to go out in threesomes from both the first and 10th tees.
 
Continuous rain flooded greens and fairways at the Paraparaumu Beach course Saturday, forcing a suspension of play at 1:20 p.m. Play resumed, when the weather slackened, at 4:45 p.m.
 
Woods started the third round at 1-over, and picked up three shots on the leaders before the horn first sounded, overcoming the double bogey at the first to make the turn in 3-under 32.
 
Incidentally, Woods is a combined 8-over-par on his first holes of each round, including last week's Mercedes Championships.
 
Under heavy rain, Tiger hit his drive in the long, wet rough on the opening hole, and was only able to advance his second shot some three feet.
 
The worlds No. 1 recouped with birdies at the second and fourth holes, and then drove the 310-yard, par-4 sixth. Woods, who averaged nearly 33 putts over his first two rounds, knocked in the seven-foot eagle putt to get back into red numbers for the tournament.
 
For the first time all week, Woods failed to post a birdie on a par-5, when he parred the seventh hole; however, he rolled in an 18-foot birdie putt at the par-4 eighth to climb to minus 2.
 
He then parred Nos. 9, 10 and 11, and was in the fairway at the par-5 12th when play was halted.
 
Though the precipitation continued, players trekked back to their respective positions after the lengthy delay.
 
Tiger reached the green in two at No. 12, and two-putted for birdie. He gave that shot back, however, on the next hole, missing a four-foot par putt.
 
Woods traded a birdie at the 15th with a bogey at the 17th. He concluded his round with a birdie at the par-5 finishing hole.
 
Hopefully, tomorrow Ill get off to a good start, better start than today and post a good number, Woods said.
 
He has plenty of ground of which to make. Though he closed to within four strokes of the lead upon the conclusion of his round, the closing twosomes had few problems on the soggy, receptive greens.
 
Alker was 3-under on the day, while Leaney picked up two strokes to par, once they finally got started. Campbells 5-under total was the low round of the day.
 
Full-field scores from the New Zealand Open