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PGA play resumes at Riviera after high winds, safety issues

World number one Dustin Johnson was on the fringe at the first, looking at 16 feet for eagle, when proceedings came to a halt.

Dustin Johnson plays his shot.
Dustin Johnson plays his shot.
Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

Updated at 23.12

THIRD-ROUND play resumed Saturday at the US PGA Genesis Invitational after gusting winds caused unsafe and unplayable conditions at Riviera Country Club.

After a stoppage of nearly four hours, players returned to the course with the final threesome preparing to tee off at the opening hole.

High winds had blown golf balls off greens and blustery conditions caused equipment to collapse near players at the 14th tee, prompting the decision to halt play, tournament director Steve Rintoul said.

“We got into a situation of player safety,” he said. “Safety of our volunteers and everybody else out there on the golf course was our primary reason for shutting things down.

“We had a piece of communications equipment fall down very close to some players on the 14th tee, which really makes us as a committee step back and say maybe we need to go ahead and suspend now because it gets really more dangerous out there and that was ultimately the decision.”

It was the first time wind had caused unplayable conditions to suspend a tour event since the second round of the 2015 British Open at St. Andrews.

Sam Burns, who matched the 36-hole Riviera course record at 12-under par 130, was preparing to start his third round alongside US compatriots Tyler McCumber and Jason Kokrak when the horn sounded and players were pulled off the course.

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“I kind of expected it to happen,” said Burns, chasing his first PGA title. “I was on the chipping green and balls were coming off the green. I was like, eventually there’s going to be a halt of play.”

His lead was trimmed to four strokes just before the stoppage when American Max Homa tapped in for eagle on the par-5 first hole after his approach stopped inches from the cup, leaving him on eight-under overall.

World number one Dustin Johnson was on the fringe at the first, looking at 16 feet for eagle, when play was suspended.

Johnson was in a pack on 7-under that included fellow Americans Kokrak, McCumber, Jordan Spieth and Wyndham Clark plus Chile’s Joaquin Niemann.

© – AFP, 2021

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