Vegas, Stuard share lead as Zurich Classic heads for 54-hole Monday finish

Los Angeles (AFP) –


Venezuela's Jhonattan Vegas birdied two of the five holes he squeezed in before the weather hit on Sunday, joining Brian Stuard atop the leaderboard of the Zurich Classic now slated to finish Monday after 54 holes.

After rain and thunderstorms again brought the tournament in New Orleans to a halt, tournament officials said play would resume on Monday, and would conclude after three rounds.

Vegas rolled in birdie putts at his first two holes of the third round while Stuard, who held a one-shot lead overnight, made one birdie before the round was suspended after just over two hours of play.

Vegas and Stuard were both 13-under par through five holes of the third round.

American Bobby Wyatt was at 12-under through nine and Jamie Lovemark 11-under through five.

World number one Jason Day of Australia was in a group of five players sharing fifth on 10-under par. The Australian has 10 holes remaining when play resumes on Monday -- when thunderstorms are again in the forecast.

"We always say golf is a marathon, not a sprint. This is kind of a sprint now," Day said.

None of the 82 remaining players have completed 54 holes.

If weather prevents play on Monday, officials would revert to the 36-hole scores. Stuard would be declared the winner of an unofficial event. He would receive full FedEx Cup playoff points and prize money, but not all the benefits that go with an official US PGA Tour title. The last time a PGA Tour event was completed at the end of just 36 holes ws the 2005 Nissan Open which was won by Adam Scott.

"It changes a lot," Vegas said of the 54-hole finish. "You have less holes to play, and being near the lead you have to make sure that you stay aggressive and start making some birdies, because anything could happen."