BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Michigan // Andres Romero of Argentina fired a five-under 65 to move within three shots of overnight leader JB Holmes in the PGA Championship third round before play was called off due to bad weather. Play was halted after a delay of more than four hours due to thunderstorms that rumbled through Oakland Hills Country Club and the last three groups of players, including Holmes who led at one-under-par 139, had yet to tee off.
Only 25 of the 73 players left in the field completed the third round yesterday. The weather set up a marathon Sunday for the leaders in this year's last major championship. Third-round play will resume at 3.15pm UAE time and the leading players face 36 holes of golf today. The big-hitting American Holmes will tee off with the South Korean Charlie Wi, who stood at level-par 140.
Romero, 27, third in the 2007 British Open at Carnoustie, charged into contention by posting seven birdies and two bogeys on the gruelling Oakland Hills course dubbed 'The Monster' by Ben Hogan after he won the 1951 US Open. Romero finished on two-over-par 212, three back of Holmes, who had yet to start his round. Shortly after Romero reached the clubhouse, play was suspended because of the approaching thunderstorms.
The Argentine took advantage of soft conditions in the morning to bounce back in style after his second-round 78. "I played an excellent round, almost perfect," he said. "I can't believe it, I have a chance for tomorrow." One shot behind Holmes on even-par 140 were Wi, Briton Justin Rose and the American Ben Curtis. The former winner David Toms, Swede Henrik Stenson and the American Steve Flesch (through five holes) were one over.
They were one ahead of a group including Spain's Sergio Garcia, the 2007 US Open champion Angel Cabrera of Argentina, the Australian Aaron Baddeley and Jeev Milkha Singh of India. Other early starters also showed low scores were possible. Camilo Villegas of Colombia was four-under through 14 holes to reach two-over for the tournament along with Boo Weekley, who had played four holes on Saturday. "Today they did a much better job with the set-up and the pin positions," the 2003 Masters champion Mike Weir said. "They moved the tees around nicely.
"The first two days was not their best. They weren't quite on their game, I would say. But they did a better job." *Reuters