US PGA 2014

4th-10th August

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Rory storms into lead

McIlroy makes blistering start before weather halts play early

Last Updated: 12/08/12 12:43pm

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Rory McIlroy: Superb early charge

Rory McIlroy: Superb early charge

Rory McIlroy charged to the top of the USPGA leaderboard at Kiawah Island before bad weather caused an early end to Saturday's third round.

The Northern Irishman, who started the day two off the pace, poured in five birdies in his first eight holes to jump two shots clear at seven-under.

Third round leaderboard

(US unless stated)

-6 R McIlroy (NIr) after 9
-6 V Singh (Fij) after 7
-5 A Scott (Aus) after 9
-4 C Pettersson (Swe) after 8
-3 B Van Pelt (F)
-3 T Immelman (Rsa) after 10

Click here for collated scores

But, just as he threatened to kick further clear, a bogey at the ninth dropped him back into a tie with Vijay Singh, who birdied the par five seventh at the same time and then play was halted as a thunderstorm moved in on the South Carolina coastline.

There was hope it might pass through but the predicted lightning eventually emerged and heavy rain drenched the course, leaving officials with no option but to call play off.

The third round will now resume at 0745 local (1245 UK) on Sunday morning with the final round being played from a two-tee start and the players going out in three-balls.

Before round three was called off, Australian Adam Scott was the other big mover at the top of the leaderboard as he birdied five, seven, eight and nine to get to five-under, just a shot back.

But Tiger Woods has serious work to after a shoddy start.

Woods - joint leader at halfway with Singh and Carl Pettersson - couldn't make any inroads over the birdieable first three holes and then bogeyed four, five and seven to drop five shots off the pace.

Things started going wrong when he missed a three-foot birdie chance at the 390-yard first.

He followed by hooking into the crowd off the next tee, a man being given a signed glove after being struck by the ball, and made further bogeys at the short fifth and 579-yard seventh, where he played three of his six shots off sand.

Scott is only three weeks on, of course, from his nightmare finish to The Open at Royal Lytham, where he was cruising to his first major title, but then bogeyed the final four holes and lost by one to Ernie Els.

McIlroy had contacted the 31-year-old to console him, having had his own collapse at The Masters last year before hitting back to win the very next major.

Scott had the chance to do the same after also going to the turn in 32, a front nine completed with a 45-foot putt.

Ball in branches

McIlroy got the perfect start with birdies at the first two holes but then suffered some freakish bad luck at the third as his tee-shot lodged in a tree.

To begin with the search started in the patch of land nearby and it needed a television replay to show that his ball had lodged eight feet off the ground.

But having reached up to retrieve it, McIlroy took a penalty drop, pitched on to seven feet and made the putt to save par.

He then added birdies at five, seven and eight before his progress was halted by first his bogey at nine than then the elements.

Earlier, England's Justin Rose and David Lynn and Irishman Padraig Harrington all leapt out of the pack by going to the turn in 32.

Rose began only 47th after his desperately disappointing 79 yesterday and climbed all the way to seventh before undoing a lot of his great work over the closing stretch.

Runner-up with Paul Casey in the 2003 World Cup at the course, Rose bogeyed the 12th, missed the green at the short 17th and three-putted the last for a third bogey, a 70 and two over aggregate.

Harrington, trying with all his might to get back in the Ryder Cup reckoning after captain Jose Maria Olazabal's words on Wednesday that he needed to do something extraordinary, then double-bogeyed the 10th, but holed out from the sand at the short 17th.

He just had time to par the last for a 69 and one under total before the sirens sounded around the course.

Lynn, with one win in 370 European Tour starts, was finally playing his first major in America and making the most of it.

With a 68 he was alongside Harrington in joint 11th.

Europeans were everywhere on the leaderboard. Swede Pettersson was alone in fourth on four under and Ian Poulter, Graeme McDowell and Peter Hanson shared seventh at two under, while Welshman Jamie Donaldson was another on one under and still had nine to play.

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