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Brooks Koepka builds commanding lead before unrelenting rain forces overnight suspension

Brooks Koepka builds commanding lead before unrelenting rain forces overnight suspension

Brooks Koepka stretched his advantage at the top of the Masters Tournament leaderboard to four shots in the early stages of his third round before play was suspended for the day on Saturday afternoon following persistent rain.


The four-time Major Champion had held a two-stroke lead at the halfway stage after Spain's Jon Rahm signed for a 69 to close the gap when he returned to complete his weather-disrupted second round early on day three.

Despite the difficult playing conditions, the pair both took advantage of the par-five second, but with Rahm making back-to-back bogeys at the fourth and fifth and Koepka safely parring those holes, the American found himself with a four-shot cushion.

And with no sign of the rain stopping, the hooter sounded as the final group made their way up the seventh hole and no further play was possible on day three.

When play was called off at 15.15 local time, Koepka was on 13 under par and nearest challenger Rahm nine under.

Amateur Sam Bennett was three strokes further back, with U.S. Open Champion Matt Fitzpatrick, Norway's Viktor Hovland, Patrick Cantlay and Collin Morikawa all on five under with plenty of holes still to complete when play resumes at 08.30 on Sunday.

Reflecting on a testing start to the third round, Koepka said: "It's obviously super difficult. The ball's not going anywhere. You've got rain to deal with and it's freezing cold. It doesn't make it easy.

"You've got to make some pressure putts. You know it was going to be a difficult day. You've just got to grind through it and try to salvage something."

Koepka is not worried about the prospect of a long day on Sunday.

He added: "I'm not too concerned about playing 29 holes or however many holes we've got left.

"It's part of the deal. I'm pretty sure I'll be up for it considering it is The Masters."

Rahm had woken up on Saturday expecting to play one-and-a-half rounds in a day after only completing nine holes on Friday, so is also not daunted by what day four has in store.

He said: "I'm very happy with the way I finished. 

"I made a great swing on the sixth and two great swings on the seventh. So I'm feeling confident, playing good golf and there's a lot to be played.

"Pretty much similar to what I would have done today (if play had not been suspended), right. So, yeah, a lot of holes. But feeling good, feeling strong, and keep it going."

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