Brendon de Jonge takes a one-stroke lead over Tiger Woods into the final day of the AT&T National, after yesterday’s round was played without no fans after a severe storm toppled trees, shredded tents and littered the course with debris.
De Jonge finished 54 holes at 7-under 206 after carding a 2-under 69 in the second round at the Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland. Yesterday’s third round was delayed by nearly six hours as groundskeepers cleaned up following the storm.
Spectators will be allowed to return to the course today when the players will again go off the first and 10th tees in groups of three, the PGA said on its website. The first tee time will be at 11 a.m. local time with the final group of de Jonge, Bo Van Pelt and Woods teeing off at 1:15 p.m.
Woods, who won the tournament in 2009, the last time it was played at Congressional, posted a 4-under 67 to share second place with Van Pelt and Seung-Yul Noh. He used just five putts in the first six holes, which including a chip-in birdie at the sixth.
“Today for me was a day I was five back, try to make a run and get myself in the tournament, and I was able to do that,” Woods told reporters.
De Jonge said the field had to get accustomed to playing without applause from a crowd.
“It was actually really strange out there, took a little while to get used to,” De Jonge told reporters. “It’s nice to have people out there and get the buzz and kind of feed off adrenaline.”
The aftermath of the storm, which had been accompanied by rain and 70 mile-per-hour (113 kph) winds, created an environment more conducive to the game, De Jonge said.
“The golf course was definitely a little bit softer,” De Jonge said. “They set it up a little bit easier for you, as well. They had a bunch of tees forward obviously trying to get us through today. I would say this is definitely the easiest we’ve played the course for the first three rounds.”
Second-round leader Hunter Mahan hit a 2-over 73 to finish with Billy Hurley III at 5-under 208. Jhonattan Vegas is one stroke back.
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