Thomas Björn will carry the principal hopes of The European Tour in the 2005 Masters Tournament at Augusta National. The Dane returns on Sunday morning along with 43 other players to compete the third round on eight under par, five behind DiMarco and one behind three-time winner, Tiger Woods.
DiMarco and Björn had just completed the first nine holes of the third round when play was suspended due to darkness. At the time Björn had just reached the turn in 34 to DiMarco’s 33 while Woods made his move with 31 blows to reach nine under.
The third round resumes at 8am on Sunday with the fourth round schedule to begin at approximately 11am.
Björn admitted that his playing DiMarco is in a strong position and said: “If Chris plays tomorrow the way he did today he’s going to be difficult to beat. Very difficult to catch.. However there are still 27 holes to go in this golf tournament and we all know when this tournament really starts – in another 18 holes time.”
David Howell of England, who set out one behind Woods and partnering the World Number Two, had the misfortune to double bogey the first and bogey the thihrd to drop back to level par. However he rallied strongly with birdies at the seventh and eighth to get back in red figures again at two under par.
Another Englishman, Luke Donald, and South African Trevor Immelman both made significant progress after seemingly dropping out of contention. Donald made what he described as a “horrible” bogey at the second but birdied the fourth, eighth, tenth, 12th and 13th to get to three under par.
Immelman was on the same mark, having launched his assault with an outward 31 including a run of four successive birdies from the 15th. He also birdied the second to get to four under but bogeyed the sixth before darkness fell over Augusta.
“That left a bit of a sour taste in the mouth” said the double South African Airways Open champion. “I didn’t go out with any great expectations and, despite the bogey, it was a successful day. Chris is a long way ahead, though, and it’s his tournament to win or lose.”
Donald concurred with that assessment, saying: “Chris is playing unbelievably well. However you never know on this course and it’s possible that eight or nine under could win tomorrow. So it’s important to keep your head down and keep plugging away.”