An electrical storm over Johannesburg forced the suspension of the third round of the dunhill championship at Houghton with 20 players still on the course and the lead shared by Welshman Bradley Dredge and South African Bradford Vaughan on 13 under par. Play will resume at 6.30am with the fourth and final round commencing at approximately 9.30am in threeballs.
The tournament looked delicately poised when the players were called off the course at 2.25pm due to the electrical activity overhead. The delay lasted until 4pm but the players were able to play for only five minutes before the storms closed in again, resulting in a suspension for the day.
At the time Dredge, leader from day one, was 13 under par after completing the first nine holes in 34, two under par. Vaughan, meanwhile, picked up five shots in 12 holes to join Dredge on the same mark.
Volvo PGA champion, Anders Hansen of Denmark, lies in third place on 12 under par after going to the turn in 33 while England’s Mark Roe turned in 35 to stand at 11 under.
Dredge admitted: "It was a bit of a stop-start day but I went back after the resumption and made an important ten footer for par. I felt I was plodding a bit and don’t mind coming back in the morning. It gives me a chance to get going and put in a strong finish."
Vaughan, 27, paid his fee to become an Affiliate Member of The European Tour prior to the start of last week’s South African Airways Open, and it proved to be a sound decision. Victory this weekend would gain him full Membership of the Tour, but a high finish would also add to the €34,621 (£22,480) he earned for a share of third place in Cape Town.
"If I hadn’t paid that cheque I would have been kicking myself" he said. "We have those two opportunities to gain an exemption, so you never know. Unfortunately in the past I’ve put too much pressure on myself and played these co-sanctioned events with too much anxiety. It’s felt like make or break.
"This time I am looking at the bigger picture. This is not the end of the world. I can always go somewhere else, like the Challenge Tour, and get my card. I have a definite plan this time and no anxiety."
Vaughan was four under for the day when the siren sounded for the first suspension, then return to the 12th and hit a nine iron to 18 feet for a fifth birdie of the day to join long time leader Dredge.
Hansen picked up four birdies in a row from the second to announce his intentions but a bogey at the eighth dropped him out of a tie for the lead.