Henrik Stenson and Sergio Garcia remained firmly in contention, yet it was unheralded Swede David Lingmerth who led the way when day three of the Players Championship drew to a close.
Following a two hour break due to lightning in the area, the leading groups were unable to complete their penultimate rounds as scheduled.
When play was called off for the day, PGA Tour rookie Lingmerth - who has missed eight out of 10 cuts since losing a play-off in January's Humana Challenge - was the surprise name at the front of the pack.
At 12 under with one hole to play following an eagle at 16 and birdie at 17, the 25 year old was two clear of fellow countryman Stenson, halfway leader Garcia and World Number One Tiger Woods.
Veteran American Jeff Maggert had earlier set the clubhouse target at nine under with a superb 66, while Englishman David Lynn went round in 68 for the second successive day to lie one shot further back.
It was Stenson who initially hit the front, birdieing the fourth and sixth to gain a slender advantage over Garcia and Woods ahead of the weather delay.
Stenson picked up another shot on the resumption, at the ninth, to extend his advantage and turn in 33, but bogeys at 11 and 15 sent him back to 10 under.
After a bogey at the second, Garcia twice returned to his overnight score of 11 under only to give a shot back on each occasion.
He and Woods, who recorded 11 pars in a row from the fourth, each had four holes still to play, with the third round set to recommence at 7am local time.