SAN ANTONIO – Defending champion Zach Johnson matched the La Cantera course record with a 10-under 60 on Saturday to take a three-stroke lead in the suspended third round of the rain-soaked Texas Open.

Johnson holed out from 84 yards for an eagle on the par-4 seventh and had eight birdies on the soggy course in the round interrupted by a five-hour rain delay. He tapped in for par on 18 seconds after the horn blew and darkness suspended play.

Paul Goydos and three-time champion Justin Leonard were 12 under through 12 holes. They’ll resume the round Sunday morning.

“I hit a lot of quality shots. I think I had to get up and down twice for par,” Johnson said. “I don’t think I missed a green on the backside.”

Johnson wore his sunglasses down to the end as dusk turned to dark, having to peer over them on the tee box at No. 18 before pushing them right back on his face. He needed just 11 holes to erase a seven-stroke deficit after waiting until nearly 4:25 p.m. to start his round.

An afternoon storm dumped more than 2 inches of rain, causing the longest delay on the PGA Tour this year. Fourteen players will finish the round Sunday before starting the final 18, when they’ll re-pair.

Marc Leishman and were Scott Sterling were 11 under when play was suspended. Leishman had one hole left and Sterling will resume at 15.

Kent Jones and Fredrik Jacobson were 10 under through 14.

Pettersen, Oh lead LPGA

CLIFTON, N.J. – Suzann Pettersen and Ji Young Oh seemingly won’t have to worry about three-time defending champion Lorena Ochoa making a run at them in the final round of the Sybase Classic.

There are plenty of other challengers though, including recent major winner Brittany Lincicome, eight-time LPGA winner Paul Creamer and probably the most famous non-winner on tour, 19-year-old Michelle Wie.

Pettersen of Norway and Oh of South Korea shot 3-under 69s Saturday, taking a one-stroke lead over Lincicome after three rounds of the $2 million event that seemingly will have a new champion with Ochoa 10 shots back heading into the final round on the Upper Montclair Country Club.

The biggest story would be Wie winning her first title since the USGA Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship in 2003. She turned pro in 2006 but that first win has eluded her.

She had a second in Hawaii earlier this year after blowing a three-stroke lead with eight holes to go.

Jones, Fergus share Champions Tour lead

HOOVER, Ala. – Gene Jones and Keith Fergus were in the lead at 10 under when play was suspended by rain in the second round of the Regions Charity Classic on Saturday, ending a day that was dominated by the weather.

Rain had halted play for 3 hours, 33 minutes in the morning and it was suspended with the threat of storms looming after Jones was 7 under through 14 holes in his second round. Fergus had finished the front nine in 4 under to join him atop the leaderboard at the Champions Tour event on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Ross Bridge.

“You never know how your body’s going to react to things like that, or your mind,” Fergus said of the long delay. “It worked out pretty well.”

He moved into the lead with a short birdie putt on the par-3 ninth, a few minutes before play was suspended.

Tom McKnight was one shot back after playing his first 10 holes in 4 under. Jay Don Blake and Joe Azaki were another shot back, and five more players were at 7 under. That group included first-round leader Dan Forsman, who was even through nine holes.

It was the Champions Tour’s first suspension of the year, setting up an early two-tee start on Sunday to complete the second round. The final round is scheduled to follow.

For the second straight day, Jones eagled the par-5 sixth hole using a new sand wedge. This time he pitched in from about 20 yards.

“I just fell in love with that darn thing,” he said. “I spun it in, it took a good hop and boom, right in the jar.”

Jones had no complaints about his putter, either, saying “I felt like I was going to make everything.”

Jones has spent several weeks working on his game with his father Gene, also a golf pro, at home in Orlando because he wasn’t eligible for the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf.

Like Fergus, he didn’t sweat the long morning of idle time.

“If you get in the groove and keep things simple, I don’t think it bothers you too much,” Jones said. “I just had a good feeling and I still have a good feeling.”

AP-ES-05-16-09 1915EDT


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