Weather injures spectators and halts the action in Atlanta

The third round of the Tour Championship in Atlanta was suspended on Saturday following lightning strikes at East Lake which resulted in some spectators being taken to hospital, the PGA has confirmed.

Play had been suspended from around 4:15pm local time as the weather worsened, with a lightning bolt then striking a tree near the 16th tee around half an hour later.

Bad weather had also interrupted Friday’s play, which saw world number one Brooks Koepka sit at the top of the leaderboard on 13 under.

Spectators were tended to after a lightning strike on the East Lake Golf Club.
Spectators were tended to after a lightning strike on the East Lake Golf Club. (John Amis/AP)

Following confirmation of Saturday’s play being suspended, broadcaster Sky Sports reported at least five people had been treated and taken to a nearby hospital, where they were said to be awake and responsive.

A statement from the PGA Tour read: “At 4:17 p.m., the third round of the TOUR Championship was suspended due to inclement weather in the area. At 4:45 p.m., there were two lightning strikes at East Lake Golf Club; a tree near the range/15 green/16 tee was hit, and debris from that strike injured four people.

“EMT (emergency medical technicians) tended to those fans and two others immediately and transported them from the property via ambulance for further medical attention. Our latest report is that their injuries do not appear to be life-threatening.

“Due to these circumstances, the third round has been suspended for the day and play will resume on Sunday at 8am ET.

“The safety of our fans, players and partners is of the utmost importance. We will provide further updates as they become available.”

When the players were taken off the course, American Justin Thomas was at the top of the leaderboard at 12-under-par, even on his scorecard through five holes on day three.

Thunderstorms have entered the Atlanta area. ⛈️

Play has been suspended at East Lake. 😞

Check the Weather Hub presented by @Travelers for the latest @PlayoffFinale: https://t.co/evi6NYc8SPpic.twitter.com/ioEpYDKI0f

— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) August 24, 2019

Nothern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy was on 11 under, one over for the day after a bogey at the first, while Koepka dropped shots at both the first and third holes to also be in a tie for second place.

Xander Schauffele was 10 under, one over for the day, while Chez Reavie was at nine under after going three under through seven holes, alongside England’s Paul Casey who was even par after six.

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