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Rains halt the third round of the Masters in 2023

Heavy rain prompted the third day of the Masters to be canceled after American Brooks Koepka increased his lead at Augusta.

Midway through the round, Koepka is 13 under par, four shots ahead of Spain’s Jon Rahm, who bogeyed two of the six holes they played.

Since round three began late due to Friday’s weather, both players had birdied the second.

Tiger Woods dropped to nine over after double bogeys on the 15th and 16th holes in the cold and damp conditions.

The five-time champion, 47, began on the 10th tee as Augusta organizers raced to get as much play in as possible before the course became impassable due to continuous rain.

Woods pushed to make it through the halfway point earlier on Saturday, equaling Gary Player and Fred Couples’ record of 23 straight cuts made, but he is currently the last of the 54 remaining players.

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The rain stopped between the second and third rounds, only to return shortly after the players resumed their rounds.

At 15:15 p.m. local time (20:15 p.m. BST), the hooter sounded, and play was promptly halted for the day.

Four-time major winner Koepka was playing in a three-ball with Rahm and American amateur Sam Bennett when they were escorted off the course.

“You can’t say it was too late [to cease play] because I don’t blame them for wanting us to play as much as possible,” Rahm explained.

“It’s a shame I didn’t save at least one par on four or five, but I made a wonderful swing on six and two great swings on seven.”

“So I’m feeling good, playing well, and there’s a lot of golf to be played.”

Despite the bad weather, Rahm cut Koepka’s overnight lead to two shots.

Rahm began his third round with a birdie on the second, but Koepka matched it to hold his two-shot lead before bogeying the fourth and fifth.

Bennett, 23, claimed he thought he may become the first amateur to win a major in 90 years after starting with back-to-back 68s, but he was given a reality check when he bogeyed the first and second holes.

If the event is to complete on schedule and avoid a Monday finish for the first time since 1983, the last group must play 29 holes on Sunday.

The weather forecast, on the other hand, appears to be more optimistic, with drier and sunnier conditions forecasted.

“I don’t mind playing 29 holes. It’s part of the contract,” Koepka, who competes on the Saudi-backed LIV Golf circuit, stated.

“Given that it’s the Masters, I’m confident I’ll be up for it.” So I don’t think there should be any objections.”

Matt Fitzpatrick of England will be hopeful that the forced pause does not derail his progress. The US Open winner birdied three of his first eight holes to jump into a tie for fourth place on five under par.

The third round will resume at 13:30 GMT, with the final round starting at 17:30, with players teeing off from the first and tenth holes once again.

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