Rain doesn’t keep Every from the lead

DALLAS — Matt Every only needed half a round to go from a four-stroke deficit to a one-shot lead at the Byron Nelson. He will have 27 holes to play today before he can win the tournament.

Every opened the rain-delayed third round with a chip-in eagle, then had four birdies in a span of five holes to take the lead from Sung Kang before play was suspended because of darkness Saturday night with that lead group through nine holes. Only 12 of 83 players finished the third round.

“It was like a normal round of golf for me, it felt like it,” said Every, whose two PGA Tour victories were both at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, in 2014 and 2015.

The start of the third round at Trinity Forest was delayed six hours because of heavy rain overnight and into the morning.

Kang matched the course record with a 61 in the second round to take a four-stroke lead over Every into Saturday after the two also played together the first two rounds.

Every had a 6-under 30 on the front nine Saturday to get to 18 under, a stroke ahead of Kang after he was 1 under for the day.

“It was playing super easy, so it wasn’t like I had time to be nervous about anything,” Every said. “I just needed to keep making birdies.”

The third round will be completed this morning. A secondary cut, to the low 70 scores, will be made before the fourth round. There is no rain in the forecast, with sunny skies and temperatures getting to the high 70s for Mother’s Day.

Tyler Duncan, also in the final threesome, was 3 under and was third at 15 under a day after his wayward tee shot on his only bogey in the second round hit his wife on the head — she was OK. Scott Piercey was 7 under through 13 holes to get to 13 under, tied for fourth with Sebastian Munoz and Rory Sabbatini.

Nicholas Lindheim was making a run at his own 61, or better, at 9 under for the day through 15 holes. At 12 under for the tournament, he was one of seven golfers tied for seventh.

“I had some really good opportunities on the last two holes I played I didn’t capitalize on,” Lindheim said. “I always figured if you try it doesn’t happen. You just got to allow it to happen. We’ll see what happens.”

Also at 12 under was Brooks Kopeka, the world’s No. 3-ranked player who will go to the PGA Championship at Bethpage next week as the defending champion.

Koepka has four consecutive birdies late in his second round, then started Saturday with birdies on the first two holes. But he was only 1 under through 10 holes when play stopped, his only other non-par hole being a bogey at the par-5 No. 7.

Tour Champions

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Steve Stricker didn’t have another near-flawless round, but he found a nice way to finish.

He birdied the final hole for a 2-under 70 and held the lead Saturday after three rounds at the Regions Tradition. Bernhard Langer was among three players two strokes back.

Stricker, who shot a second-round 64, enters the final round of the first of five PGA Tour Champions majors at 14-under 202. He was 1 over on the front nine on Greystone’s Founders Course after his first bogey of the Tradition but birdied all three par 5s on the back nine.

On the final one, Stricker sent a shot onto the green above the hole on No. 18. His approach had landed in the rough near a bunker.

“I didn’t hit the best of second shots,” Stricker said. “I tried to hit a 3-wood and hit it really hard and tried to get it into the green. Kind of hit a little thin and rolled it up there.”

Langer, who won the Tradition in 2016 and 2017, shot a 68. David Toms had a 70 and Andrade a 69 for the three-way tie for second. Tom Byrum and Paul Goydos were three shots back. Byrum shot a 66 and Goydos a 69.

British Masters

SOUTHPORT, England — Tommy Fleetwood shrugged off the effects of a virus to move into contention to win the British Masters as a late stumble from Matt Wallace in the third round threw the European Tour event wide open on Saturday.

After going 47 holes without dropping a shot, second-round leader Wallace bogeyed the 12th and ran up a double bogey on the 15th — after his wayward drive hit a spectator on the head — in shooting a 2-under 70. He was level in first place on 14-under 202 overall with Marcus Kinhult (68).

Fleetwood, who is hosting the tournament at Hillside in his home town of Southport in northern England, said he struggled for energy and believes his son Frankie, who had tonsillitis last week, “has given me something.”

Still, the world No. 16 holed from 25 feet for an eagle on the 11th and also birdied Nos. 12, 14 and 17 to shoot a 68 and delight the sell-out crowd. Fleetwood was 11 under, three strokes off the lead alongside Robert MacIntyre (68).

“It’s not been ideal,” Fleetwood said. “It’s one of them things, just another challenge. I forgot my paracetamol in the bag so Clare (his wife) had to get me some on the 13th tee and that pretty much saved me on the way in.”

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