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Lehman struggles before play suspended

SAN DIEGO -- From dawn to dusk, Tiger Woods managed to play
just six holes Saturday in the fog-delayed Buick Invitational. That
was enough to change his fortunes.

He waited 2½ hours to play one hole in the morning, a two-putt
birdie from the fringe to complete a second-round 63 and get within
three shots of the lead. Then he waited six hours to start the
third round, birdied his first two holes and caught Tom Lehman when
the Ryder Cup captain faltered.
When darkness finally halted play at Torrey Pines, only one
thing was certain.
"It's been a long day," Woods said. "And we've got another
long one tomorrow."
And there's still a long way to go.
Woods turned a bogey into an unlikely birdie by holing a bunker
shot on the par-3 11th. Lehman struggled from the onset, missing a
6-foot birdie on the first hole, then having to make a pair of
8-footers on the next two holes, one of them for par, the other for
bogey.
Woods found the 14th fairway with his tee shot, and decided to
finish the hole after the horn sounded to stop play.
"One less hole to worry about," he said.
Lehman never teed off and will return there Sunday morning -- assuming everyone can see.
Peter Lonard, who completed his 65 early Saturday to join Woods
at 12 under through 36 holes, decided to play the 14th and made a
mess of it, taking double to slip back to 11 under, along with Luke
Donald.
Ernie Els was 2 under through five holes and begging rules
officials to halt play, saying he couldn't see. He was at 10 under,
along with Kevin Sutherland and Dudley Hart.
And don't forget about Vijay Singh.
Quietly marching along in the group behind Woods -- the leaders
teed off on the back nine for television -- the 41-year-old Fijian
birdied three of his last four holes and was at 8 under.
The third round is expected to resume at 10:30 a.m. ET.
"I can't wait to grab some dinner and repeat the process
tomorrow," Woods said.

PGA tournament director Mark Russell held out hope that the
Buick Invitational could avoid its first Monday finish, although
everything has to fall together perfectly. No more than a one-hour
delay Sunday can be tolerated. And players will not take a break
after they finish the third round, heading straight to the next
tee.
The leaders began the third round on No. 10. They will start the
final round on No. 1.
It was chaotic, but by now, everyone is used to the soupy fog
off the Pacific.
Nearly 60 players arrived Saturday morning to finish the second
round. Some were on the practice range hitting soft lob wedges to
about 70 yards, unable to see where the ball was landing.
After a 2½-hour delay, the second round resumed.
And when the third round began, no one played more than four
holes until Torrey Pines was shrouded anew in fog.
Phil Mickelson was at 5 under after 36 holes, but quickly faded
from contention. He hit his approach into 3 feet on his second
hole, the par-3 11th, only to miss the putt. He followed that with
several other mistakes and was 4 over on his round through 11
holes, 11 shots out of the lead.
Woods could not have asked for a better start.
From a fairway bunker on No. 10, his approach spun back 12 feet
above the hole, and he curled that in for a birdie. And right when
it looked like he had short-sided himself on the 11th, his bunker
shot was picking up speed when it rammed into the pin and dropped
for birdie.
Els also started quickly with a 3-foot birdie on No. 10 and an
18-footer for birdie on the second hole. The Big Easy might be
playing better than anyone, giving himself birdie chances inside 18
feet on every hole he played on the South course. He missed a
10-footer on the 14th, then waited on the 15th tee until play was
suspended.

Divots
Ian Poulter and Bradley Hughes failed to return Saturday
morning to finish the second round, neither of them having any
chance to make the cut. Neither did Justin Leonard, but he returned -- sharply dressed -- to play one hole. Leonard said he has a sister
who lives in the area, but probably would have shown up, anyway.
"I just would have a hard time doing that," he said of leaving
before a round is over. And after a two-putt birdie on the 18th,
Leonard added sarcastically, "Plus, look at all the momentum I
gave myself for next week." ... Charles Howell III was 4 under at
the turn and at 9 under par. Howell is coming off a tie for third
last week in the Sony Open. ... Sergio Garcia didn't even finish
one hole before the first fog delay. Strangely, he elected to mark
his 35-foot bogey putt, making that his first shot when play
resumed. He missed and made double bogey, and was 12 shots behind.