Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

A Major Break in the Action; with Mickelson on Top, Lightning Forces the PGA Championship to Finish Today

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

A Major Break in the Action; with Mickelson on Top, Lightning Forces the PGA Championship to Finish Today

Article excerpt

Byline: GARRY SMITS

SPRINGFIELD, N.J. -- After several days of record temperatures in the New York metropolitan area, it shouldn't have been surprising that the 100-degree heat finally broke.

But the timing wasn't good for the PGA Championship. The second of two weather delays Sunday at Baltusrol Golf Club forced PGA of America officials to suspend the final round with 12 players left on the course at 6:35 p.m. Those 12 players, including 54-hole co-leaders Phil Mickelson and Davis Love III of St. Simons Island, Ga., have a combined 36 holes to finish.

The fourth round will resume at 10:05 this morning in the first Monday finish for the season's final major championship since 1986 at Inverness Golf Club in Toledo, Ohio. CBS will air the remainder of the tournament.

Lightning halted what was turning out to be one of the most scintillating Sunday afternoon dramas in the history of an event that has stamped out one close finish after another. Mickelson, who began the day sharing the lead with Love at 6-under par, is 4 under and has a one-shot lead through 13 holes over Steve Elkington and Thomas Bjorn.

Mickelson missed a 6-foot birdie-putt attempt at the 14th hole and was lining up a 3-foot par try when tournament officials blew the one-blast weather warning.

"I love this championship, but I want to live, man," Mickelson said of the weather horn blowing. "A lightning bolt struck pretty close, and we got off pretty fast."

Elkington, the 1995 PGA champion who wrested the lead from Mickelson at one point before a bogey at the 15th hole, was standing on the 16th tee when play was suspended. Bjorn, who equaled the major championship record of 63 in the third round, was at No. 15.

Love, the 1997 PGA champion, bogeyed four of five holes on the front nine, is 2-under par and, like Mickelson, has a par-putt attempt on the 14th green. Vijay Singh of Ponte Vedra Beach (three holes to play) and Tiger Woods (done at 68) are 2 under, and Retief Goosen (two holes left) is 1 under. …

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