KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. – First came the black cloud that has been following Tiger Woods on the weekend at the majors. The real storm showed up a short time later Saturday in the PGA Championship, halting the brilliant start by Rory McIlroy and giving Woods a chance to stop his slide at Kiawah Island.
McIlroy opened with three birdies and two par saves, none bigger than on the third hole when his tee shot lodged in a thick tree limb that was rotting about 7 feet off the ground. He reached up to remove the ball, took a penalty drop and made a 6-foot par putt to continue on his way.
It all looked so easy for McIlroy, who was at 6 under par through nine holes and tied for the lead with Vijay Singh when the third round was suspended.
“Just great position going into tomorrow, and that’s all I can really ask for, so happy with where I am,” McIlroy said.
For Woods, it was a grind on another windswept day at Kiawah Island.
He failed to birdie the par-5 second hole, and then badly missed a 4-foot birdie putt on the next hole. He hit a spectator with a fairway metal off the tee at the fourth, pulled a shot into the mounds short of the par-5 fifth hole and made another bogey on the par-5 seventh with two poor shots to the right, a wedge over the green into a waste area and another missed putt.
He made everything Friday to take a share of the 36-hole lead. He made nothing Saturday. Woods already was five shots behind and facing a 6-foot par putt on the eighth hole when the siren sounded to stop play. He was at 1 under.
“I got off to a rough start today and couldn’t get anything going,” Woods said through a spokesman. “I’ll come back tomorrow morning and see what happens. There are a lot of holes left to play.”
Singh, the 49-year-old who has not been in contention at a major in six years, opened with a 15-foot birdie putt and made a strong recovery from trouble on the par-5 seventh by making a 25-foot putt to join McIlroy atop the leaderboard.
Right behind was Adam Scott, showing no signs of a British Open hangover.
Scott blew a four-shot lead with four holes to play last month at Royal Lytham & St. Annes a month ago by closing with four straight bogeys. He came to life toward the end of his front nine Saturday with four birdies in a five-hole stretch, capped by a 45-foot birdie putt on the ninth.
Scott was at 5 under. Carl Pettersson, tied with Woods and Singh at the start of the round, was at 4 under through eight holes.
This was the second time this year Woods had a share of the 36-hole lead going into weekend at the majors.