PGA Championship Third Round News & Notes

7:04 PM, Aug 11, 2012   |    comments
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Kiawah Island, SC (Sports Network) - Kerry Haigh hasn't enjoyed the smoothest PGA Championship of his career.

He is the managing director of championships and business development for The PGA of America. With the third round being called for the day, Haigh had to endure his fair share of questions.

First of which was: What is the outlook for Sunday?

"There is a chance of some lingering showers first thing in the morning, but following that, our weather people tell us we can expect a very good day with winds very slightly less than they have been today," Haigh said. "With that forecast, I think the plan we have should certainly allow us to finish on schedule tomorrow evening at about 10 to 7:00 and hopefully bring to a conclusion what we think and already is a very dramatic and exciting 94th PGA Championship."

Some questioned why the final pairing would go out at 3 p.m., in August, in South Carolina.

"A lot of our weather issues actually have been in the mornings more so than the afternoons this past week," he said. "Our suspension on Tuesday and Wednesday were in the mornings. August weather is August weather, and I think the plan was to finish on time, about 7 p.m., which we would have done had the storm not hit as it did."

Then, there is the problem that The Ocean Course is not easy to get in and out of.

"We have a fully fledged bus terminal there to move the spectators to the parking lots. We did suspend, as I say, at 4:50 and the rain didn't actually hit until 5:30, 5:35, so it did give spectators a lot of time," he explained. We posted the weather want signs almost an hour previous to that suspension. So spectators had the early warning that there was a chance of dangerous weather coming, and quite a number of spectators did leave once the weather warning signs were posted.

"So as good as any rain suspension can be, which obviously it's not fun for anybody, as far as we know, all of the spectators got back safely or are getting back safely to their vehicles and to their homes."

And finally, as can be a problem at any event with a weather suspension for the day, Saturday's ticket-holders lost out.

"Unfortunately Saturday tickets will not be valid on Sunday due to the capacity of the venue," said Haigh. "We are sold out for the PGA Championship. We are very sorry and it's unfortunate for those ticket holders on Saturday that we could only play until 5 p.m., but it certainly was a pretty full day other than the last two hours."

CLUBHOUSE LEADER

Bo Van Pelt is the clubhouse leader at 3-under par thanks to a 5-under 67 on Saturday.

Van Pelt notched five birdies on Saturday and had no bogeys. He is currently tied for fifth, but Van Pelt is probably just as happy he finished as he was with his score.

Van Pelt just finished out his par putt on the 18th green Saturday before the horn sounded to suspend play.

"Just glad to get done, to just be putting there on the last green. So it's nice to just be done for the day and get to go home and relax."

Van Pelt said in his interview that he didn't know what would happen when the leaders went back out after the storm. Since they didn't make it back to the course, Van Pelt won't truly know where he stands until Sunday morning.

But, he can always take solace in what he accomplished on Saturday.

"I did what I could do," said Van Pelt. "Five birdies, no bogeys, only missed one green, I think, one green I was on the fringe. I must have hit 16 or 17 greens out there, and I was obviously excited. I felt like I left a couple out there on the back nine. I was in good position, but all in all, really pleased."

WEATHER WOES

The wind was supposed to be a huge factor this week and it was. On Friday, gusts up to 30 mph caused the highest single-round scoring average in PGA Championship history.

On Saturday, it was heavy storms that tripped up the field.

At 4:50 p.m. ET, the horn sounded and players were immediately removed from the course.

Thunderstorms were forecast, but rain didn't hit until almost an hour after the stoppage.

Then, it hit hard.

At 6:30 p.m., officials decided to call play for the day.

This is the eighth consecutive PGA Tour event that has been delayed by weather and the 15th total this year on tour.

This is the first time since 2008 that the third round of the PGA Championship didn't end on Saturday.

* Joost Luiten birdied his final hole of the second round on Saturday morning. The 36-hole cut was made and the round began on time.

* With the third round incomplete, the hardest hole on Saturday was the par-4 ninth, which played to an average of 4.33.

* The easiest hole was the par-5 16th, which played to an average of 4.72.

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