Thomas leads by one shot

Justin Thomas hits a second shot on the 2nd hole during the third round of the Genesis Open at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, California, Saturday. — AFP

PACIFIC PALISADES — Justin Thomas eagled the first hole and took the sole lead early in the third round at the Genesis Open in Los Angeles Saturday as Tiger Woods made a charge at a tournament he has never won.

American Thomas was one stroke ahead of Australian Adam Scott after two holes when play was suspended in fading light at the rain-hit tournament at Riviera, where a seven-hour delay on Thursday put things way behind schedule.

Competition will resume at 6.45 a.m. local time Sunday (1445 GMT) and the final round is expected to start before noon.

Thomas was 13-under par, while Scott was alone at 12 under.

The pair started the round tied, before Thomas almost holed out for albatross at the par-five first.

He converted the eagle putt, while Scott, who had also hit a fine approach, grazed the hole with his 12-foot eagle try and had to settle for birdie.

Americans J.B. Holmes and Patrick Rodgers were two shots behind after two holes, while Woods picked up an eagle and three birdies in his first four holes.

He trailed by seven strokes after seven holes.

Woods could only smile ruefully as he contemplated Sunday’s early resumption.

“It’s not even going to be light yet, I don’t think,” he said. “This has been a long week.

“I’ll probably get up about 2 or 3 (a.m.) and start the process (of preparing).”

Woods lamented four three-putts in the first round at the only event on the PGA Tour that he has played at least 10 times without winning.

Leader Thomas joked that he would not get much sleep.

“I’m trying to get over that 6.45 start. That’s in a couple of hours,” he said.

Earlier, Thomas and Scott, both former world number ones, completed second rounds of six-under-par 65.

Thomas had to finish off six holes of his second round on Saturday, while Australian Scott had seven left.

They shared the halfway lead at 11-under. — Reuters