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Sports

Burns leads PGA at wind-hit Riviera as Fitzpatrick charges

  • World number one Dustin Johnson was in a third-place pack on seven-under with fellow Americans Max Homa and Wyndham Clark. Johnson, the reigning Masters champion, and Homa had five holes remaining. Clark had three.
21 Feb 2021

LOS ANGELES: Sam Burns clung to a two-stroke lead over England's fast-closing Matthew Fitzpatrick when darkness halted Saturday's wind-hit third round of the US PGA Genesis Invitational.

Burns closed with back-to-back bogeys to stand on 10-under overall with five holes remaining when sunset halted play with 23 golfers -- including 11 of the top 14 on the leaderboard -- needing to finish their third round at cold and blustery Riviera Country Club.

"You're getting wind you're not used to seeing here," Burns said. "Even when it's downwind it was pretty hard to get the ball to stop on the green. Not a lot of opportunities out there."

World number 149 Burns matched the 36-hole Riviera course record at 12-under par 130 to lead by five when the day began, then had to wait out a wind delay of three hours and 54 minutes before starting his round.

"Pretty long day," Burns said. "The course is playing tough. We did a good job of trying to put it in the right spots."

The American, chasing his first PGA title, still led by five strokes until the final half hour of play, when he made a three-putt bogey at the par-4 12th and missed a seven-foot par putt at the par-4 13th.

Fitzpatrick, meanwhile, sank a 22-foot birdie putt at the par-3 16th and stood on eight-under with one hole remaining.

"It was great," the Englishman said of his round. "In and out because of the high winds. Went out to make some birdies early to kick start my round and just hung onto it on the back nine really."

World number one Dustin Johnson was in a third-place pack on seven-under with fellow Americans Max Homa and Wyndham Clark. Johnson, the reigning Masters champion, and Homa had five holes remaining. Clark had three.

"Conditions were tough all day," said Johnson. "Greens were firm and fast. The wind was blowing all day. It was a tough test. It played fine. It was fair. It just played tough.

"I played pretty good, a couple bad bogeys but in these conditions it's very difficult. I feel like I'm playing pretty solid. I'm going to have to go out and shoot a good number tomorrow."

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