Jon Rahm and Ryan Palmer tied for the 54-hole lead in New Orleans
By Keith Jackson
Last Updated: 28/04/19 7:25am
Jon Rahm and team-mate Ryan Palmer ended another marathon day in a share of the lead as the weather-hit Zurich Classic of New Orleans got back on schedule.
After the opening day was severely disrupted by torrential storms, some of the pairings had to play 34 holes on day three but all of the 39 teams managed to complete their third rounds at TPC Louisiana in Avondale.
Rahm and Palmer combined for an impressive 65 in their second-round foursomes before returning for fourballs in round three, carding nine birdies and just one bogey in a 64 which lifted them alongside Scott Stallings and Trey Mullinax on 23 under par.
Stallings and Mullinax looked on course to break 60 when they covered their first eight holes in seven under, with five birdies and a Mullinax eagle at the second, although they picked up only three further shots on the back nine and settled for a 62.
Their clubhouse lead looked to have a chance of holding up when Rahm and Palmer both found water from the tee at the tough par-three 17th and eventually did well to scramble a bogey-four, but the Spaniard then holed from 15 feet on the final green to cap an eight-under third round.
WATCH: GMac's 89-yard eagle!
Graeme McDowell holes out for a superb eagle-two, and he then helps himself to a marshal's chair and refreshment!
The South African pairing of Branden Grace and Justin Harding are just one shot behind after an incredible birdie blitz in their 11-under 61, featuring 12 birdies and just the one mistake as they also fell victim to the punishing penultimate hole.
Harding contributed five birdies in six holes before Grace added another at the 16th and, after they were unable to save par at 17, last month's Qatar Masters champion rattled in a nine-foot putt for a closing birdie which got them to 22 under.
Ryder Cup team-mates Tommy Fleetwood and Sergio Garcia, who are known as "Team Fleecia" this week, will have high hopes of putting pressure on the leaders early in the final round of foursomes after they combined for a bogey-free 64 having earlier completed a second-round 68.
Fleetwood and Garcia managed only three birdies in a quiet front-nine, but they picked up the pace after the turn and, after a birdie at 10, they added four more over the final six holes to get within four of the lead heading into Sunday - and a later alarm call!
"In foursomes obviously there's a little bit more pressure on both of us, but this morning Tommy was unbelievable and kept stiffing it over and over again," said Garcia. "I managed to make a couple of putts, and this afternoon I've played quite nicely, but the holes that I wasn't in it, he was right there.
"That's the most important thing. I think making sure that you gel nicely and you match up nicely on those holes, that if one of them doesn't do well the other one does."
Find great courses near you with GOLFNOW
Russell Knox and Brian Stuard raced to 20 under with six holes of their third round remaining, but the birdies dried up down the stretch and they bogeyed the 17th to return a disappointing 66 that threatened to be so much better having turned in 31.
Henrik Stenson and Graeme McDowell need something special to threaten the leaders on Sunday as they start the final day five off the pace after firing a better-ball 66 which included a superb 89-yard hole-out for eagle from McDowell at the 16th, although they then put three balls in the water between them at 17.
Stenson did well to drill his third shot to 15 feet and hole the putt to salvage a bogey with McDowell in the drink again, and the Swede found the target again from off the green at the last for a bounce-back birdie - their sixth of the day.
And, after appealing to Sky Sports Golf viewers to come up with a team name, they opted to go with the suggestion from Matt Adams of "3wood Mac", which earned him a pair of Stenson's own-branded sunglasses as a reward!