(Reuters) – Jhonattan Vegas cooled off along with the Alabama temperatures on Saturday at the Barbasol Championship where his six-stroke lead was cut in half before the third round was halted due to bad weather.
The Venezuelan leader, who fired a 60 to take command one day earlier, struggled through 13 holes, dropping one shot to slip to 16-under for the tournament before thunderstorms forced the suspension of play.
More than half the field will finish their third round on Sunday morning, and officials still hope to complete the fourth round on time at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in Opelika.
Vegas, 31, has 23 holes to play on Sunday as he pursues his second career PGA Tour win and first in more than five years.
Australian Aaron Baddeley is in hot pursuit at 13-under 200 after a seven-under-par 64. He punctuated his round by chipping in from behind the green on the 18th for a third straight birdie.
“To chip in on the last was a little bonus. I played real solid all day,” Baddeley, a three-time PGA Tour winner, told reporters. “All I was thinking was playing golf. If you try to force the issue that’s usually when you go backwards. (I knew) if I keep hitting good shots there was a chance I was going to shoot a good score. And I did that.” Veteran David Toms, a major champion, is also 13-under with Baddeley, after picking up four strokes in 14 holes.
Six players are tied at 11-under.
(Reporting by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Andrew Both)