By Andrew Both
AUGUSTA, Ga. (Reuters) – Justin Rose moved two shots clear of the field moments after third-round action at the Masters resumed following a 78-minute weather delay on Saturday.
Rose and Masters rookie Will Zalatoris, playing the final group, were at the par-four seventh when play was halted at 3:57 p.m. ET (1957 GMT) and the course evacuated before heavy rain arrived with nine players within three strokes of the lead.
After the break, Rose returned to the seventh green where he two-putted from 25 feet to remain at even par on the day but Zalatoris made bogey to drop into a four-way share of second.
When play was suspended 30 of the 54 players who made the cut at the year’s first major had yet to reach the clubhouse and the late starters will need every last bit of daylight to finish their round on Saturday.
Rose made a birdie-birdie start to build a three-shot lead but then made consecutive bogeys from the par-three fourth that left him where he started the day, one shot clear of the field.
Former champion Spieth was among a pack three shots off the pace after a spectacular birdie at the par-five eighth hole right before play was suspended.
Spieth’s approach shot from the trees 94 yards away rolled back from the side of the green and then settled four feet from the cup where he tapped in to get to one over on the day.
(Reporting by Andrew Both; Writing by Frank Pingue; Editing by Toby Davis and Pritha Sarkar)