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Monday, March 8, 2021

Genesis Open 2021: Sam Burns Leads Before Play Suspended in Round 3

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Sam Burns watches his second shot on the fifth hole during the third round of the Genesis Invitational golf tournament at Riviera Country Club, Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021, in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ryan Kang)

Ryan Kang/Associated Press

Sam Burns (10-under) remains in the lead after Saturday’s action at the Genesis Invitational as Round 3 was cut short due to darkness after an earlier weather delay kept golfers off the course for nearly four hours due to dangerous winds.  

Gusts along the Pacific Palisades reached 35 miles per hour on Saturday morning, adding a new level of chaos to an already eventful moving day. 

Keegan Bradley suffered as much as anyone due to the wind and became a prime example of why a pause in play was necessary after a lightly-tapped putt caught a breeze and rolled yards away from the pin and off the green. 

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

Play remains suspended @TheGenesisInv.

Next update will be given at 4:30 p.m. ET. https://t.co/Lo3xui7PZ2

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

Riviera just got even harder. 😳

Wind gusts are expected to be up to 30mph this afternoon. 🌬🧢 https://t.co/ffA5Tp2Jk2

Play was ended for the day at 5:58 p.m. PT is slated to resume at 6:50 a.m. PT Sunday with final round action to immediately follow.

Here’s a look at the leaderboard as the horn blew on Saturday.

Genesis Invitational Saturday Leaderboard

1. Sam Burns (-10)

2. Matthew Fitzpatrick (-8)

T3. Wyndham Clark (-7)

T3. Dustin Johnson (-7)

T3. Max Homa (-7)

6. Patrick Cantlay (-6)

T7. Matt Jones (-5)

T7. Talor Gooch (-5)

T7. Tony Finau (-5)

T7. Alex Noren (-5)

T7. Jason Kokrak (-5)

Notables: T12. Jordan Spieth (-4), T16. Viktor Hovland (-3), T19. Xander Schauffele (-2), T19. Jon Rahm (-2), T19. Collin Morikawa (-2), T39. Rickie Fowler (+1), T50. Brooks Koepka (+2), T64. Matthew Wolff (+5)

Full leaderboard available via PGA Tour

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

Second eagle of the day for @TonyFinauGolf. 👏

He moves inside the top 10 with this chip-in at No. 11.

#QuickHits https://t.co/2zfRUyZgwQ

Recap

Burns began the day with a five stroke lead and now finds himself fighting to hang onto first place as he tries to go wire-to-wire. The Louisiana native didn’t even commit his first three-putt of the weekend until the back nine on Saturday, where he ended the day with back-to-back bogeys on par fours. 

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

Unbelievable touch shown by the leader.

@SamBurns66 with an all-world par save at No. 6.

#QuickHits https://t.co/PtLqAPzKwm

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

Up and down from the bunker for @SamBurns66.

He extends his lead to 5 shots @TheGenesisInv with a birdie at No. 10.

#QuickHits https://t.co/TLgtXOPKM7

He’d played an even round until that point, balancing out a bogey on No. 8 with a birdie on No. 10. Now the field will see how he plays on Sunday after entering the clubhouse on a down note for the first time all tournament. Fortunately, Burns still has five holes left in his third round and can try to add back to his lead a bit. 

Unfortunately, some of his biggest challengers have the same amount of holes left, including world No. 1 Dustin Johnson (seven-under) and Max Homa (seven-under), who remain tied for third. Johnson told the broadcast he didn’t believe he’d even get back out on the course Saturday with the way the wind was whipping. Now he finds himself in prime position to move into the lead. 

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

From 279 yards …

@DJohnsonPGA breaking out the draw.

#QuickHits https://t.co/gArtoEJmZT

Matthew Fitzpatrick (eight-under) had just one hole left to complete his round when play was halted. The 26-year-old from England but together one of the more turbulent days of anyone in the top ten, netting seven birdies with four bogeys. 

Golf Channel @GolfChannel

BIRDIE MACHINE 🐦

That’s 4 birdies in a row for @MattFitz94.
https://t.co/X786EENQ8L

Fitzpatrick put together five birdies in seven holes on the front nine, but the other two were bogeys. That led him to a back nine where he’s played rather even and can get to nine-under par on the weekend with a birdie at the par-four 18th hole. 

One of the most intriguing stories to watch on Sunday will be the play of Jordan Spieth (four-under). 

The Texan has put together strong showings over the last three weeks but is still looking for his first victory since 2017.

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

3 holes.
3 putts.

@JordanSpieth rolls it in for birdie from 37 feet. He’s 4 back @TheGenesisInv.

#QuickHits https://t.co/mKUJWVsArU

He’ll have his work cut out for him on Sunday when he picks up play on the 16th tee after his third round began to fall apart. Despite three early birdies to move him into second place on Saturday, Spieth began to collapse on the green at No. 7, stringing together five bogeys on his last nine holes of the day. 

If this is truly the beginning of a Spieth comeback season, Sunday’s play should tell plenty about whether he can brush off bad rounds and stay in his rhythm. 

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