Tiger Woods had a two-shot lead at the NEC Invitational when storms approached and play was stopped for three hours. He returned to hit three full shots -- none of them good -- and fell into a tie for the lead yesterday when the third round was suspended in Akron, Ohio.
After spending 10 hours during an on-again, off-again day at Firestone, Woods was tied with Kenny Perry at 7-under par with three holes that he'll have to finish Sunday morning.
Perry is not through, either.
Thanks to two birdie putts from off the green, Perry was 6 under for his round and facing a 10-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole for a chance to shoot 63.
Paul McGinley of Ireland was another shot back through 15 holes, while Stuart Appleby reached the 667-yard 16th hole in two shots for the second time this week and was 5 under through 16 holes. Two-time Masters champion Jose Maria Olazabal finished his round with a 66 and was the clubhouse leader at 4-under 206.
"The day was great. The ending was not," Perry said.
He was repairing his pitch mark on the green when the siren sounded to stop play the second time, and Perry has been on the PGA Tour long enough to know what to expect -- a return at 7:30 a.m. today to navigate 10 feet of the 7,360-yard course, followed by five hours of dead time before the final round starts.
"I think they called it too soon," he said.
At least the Tour gave players a chance to finish. Aware of afternoon storms, tee times were moved up five hours with hope the third round could be completed. Last week at the PGA Championship, tee times were left alone for the final round despite overwhelming evidence of storms, and the final major was carried over to Monday morning.
"No one is really happy right now," Woods said.
Woods was 4 under for his round and had a two-shot lead when the round was stopped the first time. He had a difficult flop shot from left of the par-3 15th green, and returned to hit it 10 feet past the hole. His par putt caught the right lip, and Woods walked off the green cursing beneath his breath.
He followed that with a drive into deep rough to the left of the 16th fairway.
"I didn't really put myself in very good shape on 16, so hopefully I can escape with a par there and make something happen the last couple of holes," he said.
* PGA TOUR: Defending champion Vaughn Taylor opened a six-stroke lead at the Reno-Tahoe Open, birdieing four of his first five holes en route to an 8-under 64 and a tournament-record 21-under 195 total.
Taylor, who opened with rounds of 64 and 67 to set the 36-hole record, shattered the 54-hole mark of 201 that Jerry Kelly set in 2001.
"A six-shot lead is definitely a lot. I'm just going to go out there tomorrow and keep to my game plan and just play golf," said the 29-year-old Taylor, who claimed his only PGA Tour victory as a rookie last year at Reno.
Todd Fischer, playing in his home town, was second at 15 under after 69. He birdied the last five holes to overcome three early bogeys.
* LPGA TOUR: South Korea's Soo Yun Kang moved into position for her first victory in three full seasons on tour, shooting a 4-under 68 to take a three-stroke lead into the final round of the Safeway Classic in Portland, Ore.
Kang, a co-leader with Sung Ah Yim after a first-round 64, has a 12-under 132 total. Gloria Park and British Open winner Jeong Jang were 9 under.
* CHAMPIONS TOUR: Former PGA Tour and USGA administrator David Eger shot an 8-under 64 for a share of the second-round lead with Craig Stadler and Morris Hatalsky at the Greater Seattle Classic in Snoqualmie, Wash.
The leaders were at 12 under for the tournament, two strokes ahead of Brad Bryant and John Harris.