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McIlroy up by 3 in 3rd round of PGA Championship

Sunday - 8/12/2012, 9:58am  ET

By NOAH TRISTER
AP Sports Writer

KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. (AP) - Rory McIlroy made back-to-back birdies late in the third round of the PGA Championship, opening a three-shot lead at the start of what should be a long day at Kiawah Island.

Players returned to The Ocean Course on Sunday morning after the third round was halted by rain late Saturday afternoon. Tiger Woods immediately missed a 7-foot par putt to fall six strokes behind the lead, but he rebounded on the back nine a bit with birdies on Nos. 11 and 13.

At the top of the leaderboard, nobody was opening any real distance until McIlroy birdied the 15th and 16th holes. That was after the 2011 U.S. Open champion made five birdies on the front nine Saturday.

McIlroy was at 7 under par, three strokes ahead of Trevor Immelman and Carl Pettersson. Bo Van Pelt (67) and Adam Scott were another shot back.

Play was suspended Saturday because of storms in the area, giving Woods all night to contemplate the crucial putt he'd face in the morning on No. 8. When he finally hit it, the ball rolled off the edge of the cup, dropping him to even par.

But Woods was showing signs of bouncing back after shooting 40 on the front nine. His second birdie came on the 13th hole, a tough par 4 that McIlroy, Immelman and Pettersson all bogeyed.

Woods wasn't pleased with his drive on the par-4 15th. His club went sailing when he let go of it on the follow through, and the ball flew well to the right of the fairway, landing in a grassy, sandy area not too far from the beach.

Woods was able to recover, hitting a terrific shot to the green. He then came up limping for a few seconds before pulling what appeared to be some sort of prickly brush off the right leg of his pants.

He looked fine when he arrived at the green and two-putted for par.

Vijay Singh dropped back to 2 under with bogeys on Nos. 12 and 14 and a double bogey on 15.

The 26 players who didn't finish the third round returned Sunday morning. The final round was to be played in threesomes off both tees later in the day, rare for a major championship.

It was the first time since 2008 that the PGA Championship didn't complete three rounds on Saturday. Some players had to go 36 holes on the final day that year, and Padraig Harrington wound up winning his second straight major.


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)