Playa Del Carmen, Mexico — Rickie Fowler woke up at 5 a.m. Saturday and played three holes in the OHL Classic at Mayakoba. It was enough to get him a three-way share of the 36-hole lead going into a marathon finish in Mexico.
Fowler and Patrick Rodgers had to wait out a five-hour rain delay just to resume their second round Saturday. Fowler saved par from a bunker on the 18th hole for a 4-under 67. Rodgers finally make his first bogey of the tournament on his 17th hole had to settle for a 65.
They shared the lead at 10-under 132 along with Patton Kizzire, who hasn’t hit a shot since his 70 on Friday.
The last three groups didn’t have enough light at El Camaleon Golf Club to even start the third round, leaving them a 36-hole finish on Sunday. But that’s only if the weather at this rain-plagued event allows. More thunderstorms, with heavy downpours, were in the forecast for the next two days.
“We deal with weather every once in a while on the PGA Tour, around the world, really,” said Fowler, at No. 10 the highest-ranked player at Mayakoba. “You kind of just learn to play when you get to play, relax when you get to relax. Rest when you can, tee it up when you can.”
Fowler had three tough finishing holes Saturday morning, and they were even more challenging after another storm moved through. There was mud on the golf balls, and it didn’t help when Fowler twice wound up in bunkers. Both shots came out a little hot, but we managed to escape with pars.
Rodgers finally dropped a shot when he missed the green on the par-3 eighth and failed to get up-and-down. But he saved par from right of the ninth green to at least keep in a share of the lead going into the final day. With the forecast, there was no guarantee of getting in 72 holes.
Players will be allowed to lift, clean and place their golf balls through the green for Sunday.
John Oda, playing the PGA Tour for the first time as a pro, shot a 65 and was one shot behind along with 31-year-old rookie Brandon Harkins and Brian Gay, neither of whom hit a shot Saturday because they were already done with their second rounds.
Charles Howell III already was 4 under through six holes of the third round when darkness halted play. Howell was at 8-under par.
Brian Stuard (Jackson) is at 4-under through six holes on his third round.
Seventy-nine players made the cut at 1-under 141, but there will not be a 54-hole cut because the groups will stay the same over the final two rounds. Patrick Reed bogeyed three of his last four holes to miss the cut by one.
Fowler hasn’t played since Oct. 1 at the Presidents Cup except for a few casual rounds. He is playing at Mayakoba for the first time under the tour’s “strength of field” policy that requires players to go to a tournament they haven’t been to in the last four years.
So far, he has no regrets, and not much rust.
“I’m very happy, coming from basically five weeks of very little golf played,” Fowler said.
Defending champion Paul Goydos took a one-stroke lead in the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship in Phoenix.
Goydos shot a 5-under 66 to reach 12-under 130 at Phoenix Country Club, the tree-lined course hosting its first tour event since the Phoenix Open left for TPC Scottsdale in 1988.
Lee Janzen was second after a 67. The two-time U.S. Open champion birdied the par-5 18th playing alongside Goydos in the final group.
Bernhard Langer, trying to sweep the three playoff events and win the season points title for the fourth straight year and fifth overall, was tied for 22nd at 3 under in the 36-man field after a 68.
Shanshan Feng shot a 2-under 70 in the final round to win the Blue Bay LPGA by one stroke in Hainan, China.
With the win, Feng is projected to become the first top-ranked golfer — male or female — from China.
“I finished first in China, so I actually claimed the world No. 1 in front of all the people at home,” said Feng, who finished on 9-under 279. “I’m really happy about that, and I hope all the Chinese are going to be watching me … Hopefully there will be more Chinese getting on the tours and more world No. 1s coming up from China.”
Feng, who won last week in Japan, became the first back-to-back winner of 2017.
Thailand’s Moriya Jutanugarn (70) was second at 8 under, just one shot behind Feng.
A bogey-free 67 gave Scott Jamieson a 1-shot lead heading into the final round of the Nedbank Golf Challenge at Sun City, South Africa.
Jamieson edged ahead of overnight leader Victor Dubuisson (71) and has a chance at just his second European Tour title.