America’s Ricky Barnes extended his lead in The US Open Championship as third round play finally resumed at Bethpage Black - with England’s Ross Fisher the leading European Tour member.
Following heavy overnight rainfall, United States Golf Association officials decided to delay play until noon (5pm BST), pushing fourth-round play back into Monday for the first time in 26 years.
But when the players did finally make it onto the course, overnight leader Barnes wasted little time in making his mark, picking up a birdie at the par four second to move to nine under before holing a sensational putt for eagle at the par five fourth.
That moved the former US Amateur champion three clear of fellow countryman Lucas Glover and five ahead of Canada’s Mike Weir.
Fisher was tied for fourth on three under - a sensational pitch to the fourth setting up his first birdie on the front nine.
Alongside Fisher was American Ryder Cup player Hunter Mahan, who birdied three of his first six holes, while David Duval and Todd Hamilton shared sixth place on two under.
Lee Westwood started his third round superbly, with birdies at the second and fourth taking him to four under.
However, the Englishman slipped back to one under following bogeys at the fifth, seventh and eighth holes.
Sweden’s Peter Hanson was also at one under, one ahead of world number two Phil Mickelson, who carded three birdies, two bogeys and one double bogey in an erratic front nine.
Two-time US Open winner Retief Goosen, England’s Oliver Wilson and Denmark’s Soren Hansen were all alongside Mickelson at level par, with Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell and Australia’s Adam Scott at one over.
Spain’s Sergio Garcia and Italy’s Francesco Molinari found themselves at two over, while defending champion and world number one Tiger Woods was three over despite a wonderful chip-in on the 17th, his eighth hole.
USGA officials were still confident of beginning the final round later today and of finally getting the tournament finished on Monday.