The Masters: Third round suspended as rain drenches field at Augusta National

CNN  — 

The third round of The Masters was suspended for the rest of Saturday after a rain-soaked day at Augusta National.

Play had begun an hour earlier to allow several golfers to finish their second rounds after inclement weather had similarly suspended Friday’s action, where blustering winds saw three tall pine trees fall near spectators. No one was injured according to tournament organizers.

It meant affected players had mere hours between finishing their second rounds and beginning their third, including Tiger Woods – who made a record-equaling 23rd cut – and Jon Rahm, who teed off for his third round two shots behind overnight leader Brooks Koepka.

Amid a sea of umbrellas, four-time major winner Koepka was one of just 11 golfers to shoot under par as cold, wet, and windy conditions dampened many players’ hopes of rising up the leaderboard before the horn blew at 3:15 p.m. ET.

The third round will resume Sunday at 8:30 a.m ET, with the final round expected to start at 12:30 p.m. ET, The Masters said in a statement.

Water-soaked greens made life difficult for players.

Koepka, Rahm, and amateur Sam Bennett made it through just six holes before play was suspended, with the American leader shooting one-under to stretch his lead at the summit to four strokes from Rahm. The Spaniard had started well with a birdie at the second hole but dropped to one-over after consecutive bogeys at the fourth and fifth.

Bennett, who had sparkled with two historic performances across the opening two rounds, made a nightmare start, opening with back-to-back bogeys.

However, a strong response saw the 2022 US Amateur champion steady the ship with four straight pars, leaving him seven shots adrift of Koepka in third.

With 12 holes remaining for the lead group, it looks set to be a grueling day of Sunday action if The Masters is to avoid just the sixth Monday finish in the major’s history.

The last time the major finished on a Monday was in 1983, when Seve Ballesteros won his second green jacket after heavy rain had postponed play.

Koepka leads by four strokes heading into Sunday.

Aside from Koepka, Patrick Cantlay and Matt Fitzpatrick returned to the clubhouse as the winners of the day. As scores tumbled around them, the duo shot a round-best three-under par to move into the quartet tied for fourth, world No. 4 Cantlay making it through 13 holes while reigning US Open champion Fitzpatrick managed 11.

They sit level at five-under par with Collin Morikawa and Viktor Hovland, who both completed seven holes before the horn blew.

Having narrowly secured his passage to the third round, Woods endured a torrid afternoon. His nine-over par after seven holes marked the worst score of the day by three strokes.

The five-time Masters champion’s struggles with movement, visible during the opening two rounds, appeared even more pronounced as the day wore on.

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