DALLAS (AP) — Matt Every only needed half a round to go from a four-stroke deficit to a one-shot lead at the Byron Nelson. He will have 27 holes to play Sunday before he can win the tournament.
Every opened the rain-delayed third round with a chip-in eagle , then had four birdies in a span of five holes to take the lead from Sung Kang before play was suspended because of darkness Saturday night with that lead group through nine holes. Only 12 of 83 players finished the third round.
“It was like a normal round of golf for me, it felt like it,” said Every, whose two PGA Tour victories were both at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, in 2014 and 2015.
The start of the third round at Trinity Forest was delayed six hours because of heavy rain overnight and into the morning.
Kang matched the course record with a 61 in the second round to take a four-stroke lead over Every into Saturday after the two also played together the first two rounds.
Every had a 6-under 30 on the front nine Saturday to get to 18 under, a stroke ahead of Kang after he was 1 under for the day.
“It was playing super easy, so it wasn’t like I had time to be nervous about anything,” Every said. “I just needed to keep making birdies.”
The third round will be completed Sunday morning. A secondary cut, to the low 70 scores, will be made before the fourth round. There is no rain in the forecast, with sunny skies and temperatures getting to the high 70s for Mother’s Day.
Tyler Duncan, also in the final threesome, was 3 under and was third at 15 under a day after his wayward tee shot on his only bogey in the second round hit his wife on the head — she was OK. Scott Piercey was 7 under through 13 holes to get to 13 under, tied for fourth with Sebastian Munoz and Rory Sabbatini.
Nicholas Lindheim was making a run at his own 61, or better, at 9 under for the day through 15 holes. At 12 under for the tournament, he was one of seven golfers tied for seventh.
“I had some really good opportunities on the last two holes I played I didn’t capitalize on,” Lindheim said. “I always figured if you try it doesn’t happen. You just got to allow it to happen. We’ll see what happens.”
Also at 12 under was Brooks Kopeka, the world’s No. 3-ranked player who will go to the PGA Championship at Bethpage next week as the defending champion.
Koepka has four consecutive birdies late in his second round, then started Saturday with birdies on the first two holes. But he was only 1 under through 10 holes when play stopped, his only other non-par hole being a bogey at the par-5 No. 7.
Every chipped in from the fairway, about 90 feet from the cup, on the par-5 first hole and immediately cut Kang’s lead in half. With birdies at Nos. 4-6, even with Kang’s nice par save on the short 318-yard fifth. 5 before his birdie at the next hole, Avery was within a stroke.
“Got in a nice rhythm,” Every said.
The lead changed hands at the par-3 eighth hole when Avery rolled in a 5-foot birdie. Kang, who said he unexpectedly felt calm throughout the round, had just three-putted for his first bogey in 38 holes.
“The good thing is, positive thing is, we only play nine holes and I made a couple mistakes I shouldn’t have,” Kang said. “We know how to adjust tomorrow. Just play like the last couple days and it will be just fine tomorrow.”
Jordan Spieth, without a win since the 2017 British Open and without a top-20 finish this season, was tied for 16th at 10 under. At the course where he is a member, Spieth was 3 under through 11 holes Saturday.
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