KIAWAH ISLAND, South Carolina, Aug 11 (Reuters) - Timing can
make or break in sport and American Bo Van Pelt was not sure if
he had gained a huge advantage after finishing his third round
before play was suspended at the PGA Championship on Saturday.
Van Pelt carded a flawless five-under-par 67 in breezy
conditions at Kiawah Island Golf Resort, setting the clubhouse
lead at three-under 213 shortly before the players were called
off the course due to the threat of lightning.
Play was abandoned for the day nearly two hours later with
26 golfers yet to complete the round.
"You never know what the weather will be like when they go
back out, so they might get the good end of it or the bad end of
it," Van Pelt told reporters after surging up the leaderboard
with five birdies in the year's final major.
"To me, I'm just glad to get done, to just be putting there
on the last green. It's nice to just be done for the day and get
to go home and relax."
When play was suspended with thunderous storm clouds closing
in on the Ocean Course, Van Pelt was three strokes off the
tournament lead held jointly by Rory McIlroy and Vijay Singh.
Northern Irishman McIlroy had completed nine holes and
Fijian Singh, PGA Championship winner in 1998 and 2004, seven.
The only other players ahead of Van Pelt were Australian
Adam Scott, five under after nine holes, and Swede Carl
Pettersson, four under after eight.
"Obviously I'm pleased," said the 37-year-old American, who
won his only PGA Tour title at the 2009 Milwaukee Championship.
"Five birdies, no bogeys, only missed one green, and one green I
was on the fringe.
"I'm obviously excited. I felt like I left a couple (of
shots) out there on the back nine. I was in good position, but
all in all, I'm really pleased."
Van Pelt did well to cover the more difficult back nine in
one-under 35 as the ocean breezes stiffened at Kiawah Island.
Whether or not the players yet to finish the third round
encounter similar conditions after the turn remains to be seen.
Forecasts predicted mainly cloudy and breezy conditions on
Sunday with a 30 percent chance of a thunderstorm in the
(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes; Editing by Frank Pingue)