Perry Maintains Lead as Play Called


ORLANDO, Fla. -- Kenny Perry remained on top of the leaderboard at the Bay Hill Invitational Saturday, but the third round was suspended for darkness with several groups needing to complete the round.
Forty players will return to Bay Hill Golf Club & Lodge at 8:00 a.m. ET Sunday morning to finish the third round. The players will go out in threesomes off both the first and 10th tees in the final round to get in by Sunday evening.
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods tees up another ball after knocking his first out of bounds at the ninth hole.
Perry is 3 under in his third round and has the lead at 9 under par. He has completed 11 holes and is one ahead of playing partner Stephen Ames, who is also 3 under on his round.
Vijay Singh birdied the 13th hole in near darkness to get to 7 under par for the championship. He is tied for third place with K.J. Choi, who, like Singh, is 3 under on his round.
Singh, who was spectacular early in the third round with three straight birdies from the second, can reclaim the No. 1 ranking in the world Sunday only two weeks after losing it to Tiger Woods. He needs to finish no lower than tied for third with one player, while Woods has to finish outside the top 20.
Both appear to be well on their respective ways.
Woods was even on his round when he reached the par-5 sixth in two. He three-putted for par, then ran an 18-foot birdie putt 5 feet past the hole at seven. Woods missed the comeback putt to fall to 2 under for the tournament.
Things got worse for the four-time Bay Hill champion. His drive at the ninth landed out of bounds left and Woods walked off that hole with a double bogey.
When the horn sounded, Woods was 3 over on his round and tied for 33rd at even par.
Singh was not the only player with a chance to unseat Woods atop the world rankings. Ernie Els, who came to Bay Hill after back-to-back wins on the European Tour, had a chance, but fell off the pace in the second round when he collected a triple bogey and double bogey in the span of four holes.
The Big Easy is 3 under in the third round, but tied for 42nd at plus-1.
The event is trying to catch up from Thursday's opening round as only three hours of golf were played. Several golfers played 36 holes on Friday to get through two rounds, but others, like Perry, Ames, Woods and Els, played all 18 of their second round Saturday morning.
Perry did not look like he lost any steam from a second-round 68. In the third round, Perry found fairways and hit solid approaches.
At the first hole, Perry knocked his approach to 6 feet and converted the birdie putt. He had another short birdie putt at two, but slid the putt by on the right side. Perry atoned for the miscue one hole later as he sank a 6-footer for birdie.
Perry parred the next three holes, then pulled a 6-iron at the par-3 seventh. His tee ball stopped 7 feet from the hole and he rolled it in to go to minus-9.
But Ames, who won last year's Western Open, did not go away. He sank a 25-foot birdie putt at the second, then matched Perry at seven with a 7-footer of his own.
At the eighth, Ames drained a 15-foot birdie putt to get within one of Perry.
But Ames will be gunning for Perry on Sunday. Perry has not won since his remarkable run in the summer of 2003 when he took three titles in a four-start span.
He came in 30th on the money list last year, and has a top-10 finish in 2005, a seventh-place at the FBR Open in Phoenix.
'I played okay last year. It will never compare to my '03 year when I was winning, I won three out of four weeks,' Perry said. 'I guess to me I was trying to compare to that year.'
Fred Couples, who won here in 1992, is 4 under in his round and alone in fifth place at 5 under par. He has played 16 holes.
Aaron Baddeley and Duffy Waldorf are the clubhouse leaders at 4-under-par 212. Both shot 4-under 68s on Saturday and are joined at 4 under by Jeff Maggert and Sergio Garcia, who are through 14 and 13 holes, respectively.
Reigning U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen is in the process of major turnaround. He shot a 6-over 78 in the opening round, but has been 9 under par since.
Goosen shot a third-round, 4-under 68 and is tied with reigning Players Champions Adam Scott, who posted a 5-under 67 in the third round. The duo has finished 54 holes at 3-under-par 213 and several players, including Charles Howell III, Mark Calcavecchia and Joe Ogilvie are at 3 under on the course.
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