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Brooks Koepka leads by 4 as Masters suspends play for day



AUGUSTA, Ga. — Moving day at the Masters was mostly about everyone leaving on Saturday.

Heavy rains that left pools of standing water across Augusta National Golf Club brought play to a halt, and Brooks Koepka and the rest of the field will have a long Sunday slog to decide who will wear the green jacket.

After players finished the second round in the rain early Saturday morning, the weather let up enough to start the third round at 11:30 a.m. ET. The rains, however, returned early in the third round, causing play to be suspended for the day at 3:15 p.m. ET.

Koepka increased his lead to 4 strokes, playing the first six holes in 1 under to get to 13 under overall through 42 holes. Jon Rahm is next at 9 under, having played the first six holes in 1 over, while amateur Sam Bennett, the final member of the featured threesome, remains in third, falling back to 6 under after going 2 over in the same span.

Collin Morikawa, Viktor Hovland, Matt Fitzpatrick and Patrick Cantlay are tied for fourth at 5 under.

The third round is scheduled to resume with threesomes at 8:30 a.m. Sunday. If that goes according to plan, the final round would begin at 12:30 p.m., with pairs going off from both the first and 10th tees.

“I’m not too concerned about playing 29 holes or however many holes we’ve got left,” Koepka said. “It’s part of the deal. I’m pretty sure I’ll be up for it considering it is the Masters. So I don’t think anybody should have a problem with that.”

A cold, steady rain only got heavier on Saturday after the third round began shortly before lunchtime, with those making the cut going off in threesomes from both the first and 10th tees as temperatures stayed below 50 degrees with the driving wind making it feel worse.

Playing conditions were so severe that hardly anyone could reach the par 5s. Some players were hitting fairway metal on the par-4 18th.

“It was brutal out there,” Bennett said. “I think they honestly could have called it about 45 minutes earlier, but they tried their best.”

It became impossible to carry on as large puddles began to form on the pristine greens, and the lasting image was thousands of spectators under their green-and-white Masters umbrellas moving slowly in unison toward the exit.

After making the cut on the number, Tiger Woods is plus-6 through seven holes and is last at plus-9 in the 54-player field.

Woods was in danger of missing the cut at the Masters for the first time as a professional when he resumed his second round in a cold, driving rain and bogeyed his final two holes. That left Woods at 3 over and tied for 52nd, while the top 50 and ties make the cut.

Moments after Woods signed his scorecard, though, Justin Thomas missed a short par putt at the 17th, dropping him to 3-over and bringing everyone at that number inside the cut line. Thomas then bogeyed the 18th, ensuring Woods would play.

“It is what it is,” said 63-year-old Fred Couples, who broke Bernhard Langer‘s record for the oldest player to make the cut at the Masters. “Am I going to look thrilled to play 18 holes in this [Saturday] afternoon? No, I’m a wimp. I’m an old wimp. But I’m excited to play.”

It turns out Couples only played nine more holes on Saturday — three more than Koepka.

In addition to Thomas, Rory McIlroy, Bryson DeChambeau and Mike Weir also missed the cut.

Players will return to the course early Sunday to finish off the third round before jumping right into the final round with hopes of completing play before sundown.

Sunday’s forecast is much more promising, with temperatures expected to climb into the mid-60s and sunshine breaking through in the afternoon.

“It looks like it’s good weather tomorrow — so we’re going to have good weather conditions and most likely a soft golf course,” Rahm said.

There hasn’t been a Monday finish at Augusta National since 1983.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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