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Max McGreevy hits on the 18th hole during the second round of the Barbasol Championship golf tournament on Saturday. Image Credit: AP

Nicholasville, United States: Max McGreevy held a one-shot lead when darkness halted play in the third round of the storm-hit US PGA Tour Barbasol Championship on Saturday.

American McGreevy had shared the 36-hole lead with Germany’s Matti Schmid when the second round was completed on Saturday, both on 16-under 128.

But after storms delayed play for more than three hours on Friday, more heavy weather brought another interruption of more than five hours before McGreevy and Schmid started the third round with just about an hour of daylight left.

Birdie on the first hole

McGreevy birdied the first hole and was 17-under through three, while Schmid, a former college standout at the nearby University of Louisville who hadn’t made a bogey in the first two rounds, opened the third round birdie-bogey.

Schmid had been “very pleased,” with his second-round performance on the rain-softened course, saying he was able to take advantage of “perfect conditions” on Friday night and Saturday morning.

But organisers were scrambling after more than two inches of rain fell on Saturday, leaving the already sodden course with bunkers full of water and standing puddles on a number of holes. That water had to be cleared before play could resume.

Feeling very good

By the time it did, Schmid and Greevy’s solid second rounds seemed a distant memory.

McGreevy had 10 birdies spread over the two days of his nine-under second round.

“I don’t know if I put 10 birdies together in a tournament the last couple of weeks, so to put it together in one round — regardless how easy the course was playing — felt really good,” McGreevy said.

One shot adrift

Canada’s Adam Svensson, who opened with a 62 on Thursday, shot 67 on Friday to start the third round one adrift. He birdied the second hole of the third round to pull level with Schmid on 16-under through three holes.

The event is co-sanctioned by the US PGA and DP World tours for the first time as is this week’s Scottish Open, where most of the world’s top players are competing ahead of next week’s British Open at St. Andrews.