PGA.com news services
NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa. -- The third round of the 64th Senior PGA Championship is scheduled to resume at 8 a.m. Sunday at Aronimink Golf Club. Play was halted Saturday with the leaders not even halfway through their rounds because of the return of the persistent rains that have plagued tournament week from the outset.
When play was called, Seiji Ebihara of Japan held the lead at four under par, with Allen Doyle, John Jacobs and Gil Morgan tied for second at two under par. Most of the leading players were in the middle of their front nines.
"The course is waterlogged at this point," said Kerry Haigh, the Senior Director for tournaments at the PGA of America. He added that the course, which had not yet fully recovered from several days of rain earlier this week, had received 8/10ths of an inch in a few hours early Saturday.
"If the rain stops when it's scheduled to stop and we do not have too much more rain," Haigh said, he hopes the players could resume Sunday morning where they left off, complete the third round and then begin the fourth round between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. That would allow the event to end between 5 and 6 p.m., he said.
Forecasts indicate the rain is expected to stop overnight or at least slacken enough for play to take place Sunday, Haigh said. If necessary, he added, play could spill over until Monday, as he hopes to get in the full 72 holes.
Saturday Grounds, Clubhouse and Trophy Club tickets will be honored on Sunday, officials said. Corporate Hospitality and Champions Club tickets will be honored as Grounds tickets with access to the Trophy Club on Sunday.
General public parking for Sunday will be at Delaware County Community College located off Route 252, two miles south of the Route 3 intersection. Volunteer and Corporate Hospitality parking will be at the SAP America lot V parking area in Newtown Square.
Haigh and his fellow tournament officials suspended play at 11:53 a.m. Saturday when they deemed the course had become unplayable. They made that decision after they realized that players could not find suitable drop areas.
"When it became sort of unfair, at that point, we immediately suspended play -- when the player's nearest point of relief was 40 yards away in the rough, which it was on No. 9 fairway," he said. Up until then, players had to move the ball in and around the hole for putts and what have you, and the distance they were moving was not substantial."
Ebihara, who started the day two strokes behind second-round leaders Doyle and Morgan, was 2 under par through five holes. Morgan and Doyle were 2 over through five holes, and Jacobs was 1 over through five.
Also Saturday morning, Craig Stadler was assessed a two-stroke penalty for arriving two minutes and 20 seconds late for his 10:05 tee time, officials said. His playing partners, Wayne Levi and Jose Maria Canizares, hit their opening tee shots and had walked down the fairway before Stadler arrived.
Stadler was allowed to hit his tee shot and catch up with his group because he was within a five-minute period that allowed him to continue play.