Johnson in front in Texas
Zach Johnson shot a 60 on a weather-delayed day to give himself an excellent chance to defend his Valero Texas Open title.
Zach Johnson shot a 60 on a weather-delayed day at La Cantera and gave himself an excellent chance to defend his Valero Texas Open title.
Threats of lightning in San Antonio brought play to a halt for almost five hours, leaving the top 24 players on the halfway leaderboard to wait until late afternoon to start their rounds.
The long wait did little to upset former Master champion Johnson, though, as he moved from five under par for the week at the par-70, 6,896-yard Resort Course to take the overnight lead at 15 under after equalling the course record with an eight-birdie, one eagle round.
After a front nine of 30, the highlight of which was the two he scored at the par-four seventh, holing out from 84 yards, the American shot five birdies after the turn and as darkness descended Johnson gave himself an shot at a round of 59 with a 20-foot birdie putt at the 18th.
The putt came up short and the second 60 of his career went into the books instead.
Not only that, but by finishing before play was suspended due to the fading light, the 2007 Masters champion also gave himself a lie-in on Sunday while his rivals will be returning to the course to complete their third rounds.
Johnson has a three-shot lead over halfway leader Paul Goydos and first-round co-leader Justin Leonard, who were called in having played 12 holes.
Australian Marc Leishman was at 11 under, four under for the round, after 17 alongside American Scott Sterling, two under after 14.
Californian Goydos, seeking the third victory of his PGA Tour career, was a three-stroke leader at 12 under after 36 holes.
When he got his round under way after the delay, Goydos went backwards with bogeys at the third and sixth holes before getting the shots back with birdies at seven and 12 while Leonard was three under for his round.
Sweden’s Fredrik Jacobson and American Kent Jones were in a tie for sixth place on 10 under, both two under for the day having reached the 14th.
Brian Davis and fellow Englishman Greg Owen as well as Stephen Ames of Canada were at nine under with holes to play in the morning while Dustin Johnson went low with a 62 to get to the same mark.
Another Swede, Mathias Gronberg, did not take kindly to the delay, however, having slipped from a tie for second at nine under after 36 holes to six under after 48.
For those who did finish before the delay, 2003 US PGA Champion Shaun Micheel shot a seven-under 63 to get to eight under, as did Jonathan Kaye.
Further down the leaderboard, Sweden’s Richard S Johnson shot a two-under 68 to get to three under for the week.
Click here for the scorecard.
Golfers warned of further sanctions if they continue to play in LIV breakaway
The DP World Tour has issued fines of £100,000 and tournament bans to its members who played in the inaugural LIV Golf event earlier this month
DP World Tour hits members who played inaugural LIV series with £100,000 fines
They have also been banned from several forthcoming tournaments including the Scottish Open.
Rory McIlroy not impressed as Brooks Koepka becomes latest big name to join LIV
The world number two labelled the players who have joined the new series as “duplicitous” for the way they have handled their breakaway.
R&A confirms LIV Golf Series players will be allowed to compete at Open
The 150th Open Championship will get underway at St Andrews in three weeks’ time.
Matt Fitzpatrick turns to other major winners for advice on dealing with fame
Fitzpatrick won the US Open on Sunday.
Brooks Koepka set to join Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series
Koepka’s brother Chase played in the opening event at Centurion Club earlier this month.
Gary Player urges Matt Fitzpatrick to avoid ‘poison’ of modern-day coaching
Player tells US Open champion Fitzpatrick to learn from mistakes of recent major winners, saying: “The teaching today is the worst it has ever been.”
Matt Fitzpatrick’s caddie Billy Foster ready for ‘long party’ after US Open win
Foster won his first major after a 40-year career which includes spells working for the likes of Seve Ballesteros, Lee Westwood and Darren Clarke.
Matt Fitzpatrick backed to become a dominant force after winning first major
The Englishman claimed his first major title at Brookline.
Matt Fitzpatrick: A Blade with plenty of support who can really cut it
The Sheffield golfer landed his first major – and first professional win in America – at Brookline on Sunday.