Justin Thomas holds the lead after the suspended third round of the Tour Championship at East Lake, where at least six spectators were reported injured following a lightning strike in Atlanta.
Thomas finished only five holes before officials halted play with vicious storms in the area Saturday. Unlike a day earlier, play didn’t resume.
There were two lightning strikes reported at the course. Tournament officials said the injured spectators were transported away for additional medical attention after they were struck by debris resulting from the lightning strikes.
Based on a statement from the PGA Tour, the injuries were not considered to be life-threatening.
Lightning struck a pine tree near the driving range, which is close to the 15th green and 16th tee. Play had been halted for more than a half hour prior to the strikes that resulted in the injuries.
As for the tournament, the schedule adjustment makes for a potentially long day Sunday. Competition is slated to resume at 8 a.m. ET.
Thomas was even-par for the third round, putting him at 12 under for the net score using the weighted scoring system implemented for the FedEx Cup playoff finale.
Thomas, who won the FedEx Cup championship two years ago, leads Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy and Brooks Koepka by one shot.
McIlroy was 1 over on Saturday. Koepka was 2 over through his five holes in the third round.
Xander Schauffele was 1 over, holding fourth place at 10 under.
Another big move was being made by Chez Reavie, who was 3 under through seven holes. He birdied the first, third and fifth holes, putting him at 9 under net for the tournament.
Reavie was coming off Friday’s 64, which was the best score of the round.
Gary Woodland and Kevin Kisner were also both 3 under Saturday, each completing 12 holes.
With only 30 golfers in the field, there have been few holes played in the mornings in this tournament.
The lack of shifting tee times based on weather forecasts has caused considerable debate among tour observers in recent years.
“The Tour has been doing this a long time and has made a lot of great decisions,” golfer Matt Kuchar said in a The Golf Channel report. “This is a tricky one. I have a lot of faith in the Tour and their decision-making process.”
In that same report Saturday, Mark Russell, a PGA Tour vice president for rules and competition, said, “A lot of times we get lucky and we don’t get hit with thunderstorms, especially when it’s a situation when they’re pop-ups like that. I think if we did (change schedules) every time we had a possibility of thunderstorms in the Southeast, we’d do that basically every time we played golf.”
–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)