SAN FRANCISCO, Feb 5, 2023 (BSS/AFP) - American Peter Malnati was atop the leaderboard when gusting winds halted play at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am on Saturday, with US PGA Tour officials now expecting the tournament to finish on Monday.
Only a couple of players had completed the third round when gusting winds forced organizers to suspend play because balls wouldn't hold on at least one green.
A planned resumption never materialized as the winds sweeping in from the Pacific Ocean continued blow.
Malnati admitted he had mixed feelings when play was halted.
He had six birdies through 12 holes on the par-72 Pebble Beach Golf Links, one of three courses in use over the first three rounds along with par-72 Spyglass Hill and par-71 Monterey Peninsula.
"I got to play eight holes before the weather got bad, so that was nice," said Malnati, who teed off on 10 and birdied the 11th, 12th and 13th.
"Then made the turn and made three birdies into the wind on one, two and three.
"Honestly, like where I was, I was on the fourth green, I was getting ready to go play five, six, seven into the teeth of that wind, so who knows.
"I wish we were still out there playing for the sake of the tournament, but for me maybe it was a good break getting out of there at the time that I did."
Malnati was 12-under when play was halted, two strokes clear of Joseph Bramlett and Keith Mitchell. Bramlett was through 13 holes and Mitchell through 10.
Officials said the amateur competition, which attracts such celebrity golfers as Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and former Wales captain Gareth Bale, would be shortened to 54 holes.
PGA Tour pros will complete the third round on Sunday and after the cut -- made after three rounds rather than two because of the three courses in use -- would begin the final round.