Memorial Tournament
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Azinger remains two clear

Paul Azinger held a two-shot lead at 11-under par when Saturday's rain-plagued third round of the Memorial Tournament was suspended due to darkness. Stuart Appleby of Australia, Spain's Sergio Garcia and two-time defending champion Tiger Woods share second place at nine-under.

Woods, looking to become the first three-time winner at Muirfield Village, grabbed the lead at 10-under with a birdie at the par-five seventh. But he failed to birdie the par-five 11th -- a hole he eagled in the first round and birdied in the second -- then took a bogey at the par-three 12th.

Woods and Garcia were on the green in two at the par-five 15th when play was halted. Azinger, the leader by one at the start of the day, made it through 14 holes.

"It's a shame we only had four holes to go, with all the delays," said Azinger, who will return with 24 others Sunday to resume the third round at 8:30 a.m. (et). "It's disappointing that we've got to come out in the morning, but that's part of the deal. Didn't look like we were going to get any holes in, so I'm happy we got to move along and go that far."

Play was suspended twice by rain for a total of six hours on Saturday, but when the weather cleared the players were greeted with breezy sunshine, blue skies and lift, clean and place.

After waiting four hours to start his round because of the delays, Azinger landed his nine-iron approach three feet from the hole for a birdie at the first. He started to retreat with bogeys out of bunkers at the fourth and fifth, then leaned on his driver and broke it at the sixth tee.

"I hit a terrible drive on five with it, and a bad drive on six, and as I bent over to get my tee, I just was going to stick the grip into the soft tee box, and I must have had an angle on it and it just snapped," said Azinger, who used his three-wood the rest of the way.

"I haven't missed a fairway since," he admitted.

A three-foot birdie putt at the seventh helped Azinger keep pace with Woods. Azinger reclaimed the lead after a nine-iron to a foot at 11, then added another birdie with a 10-foot putt at the 13th.

He had a chance to go to 12-under at the next hole but missed the mark on an eight-footer for birdie.

Azinger captured the 1993 Memorial title when he holed out from a bunker on the 72nd hole to defeat Corey Pavin by one shot.

Appleby birdied the 15th to join Woods and Garcia in second. Garcia, who won for the first time on the PGA Tour two weeks ago at the Colonial, bounced back from a bogey at the 10th with birdies at 12 and 13.

Stewart Cink managed to finish round three with a five-under 67. He is tied at eight-under with Australian Robert Allenby, whose scorecard through 15 holes included an eclectic mix of four birdies, four bogeys, two eagles and a double-bogey.

Scott Hoch and 1997 Memorial champion Vijay Singh are at seven-under par.


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