Delayed by rain for the third time in four days Sunday, the Zurich Classic of New Orleans will have a Monday finish — weather permitting — for the first time since 2004.
The difference is that tournament went a full 72 holes before Vijay Singh claimed the title by one stroke at the English Turn Golf & Country Club when the event was known as the HP Classic of New Orleans.
PGA Tour officials suspended third-round play late Sunday afternoon after a 6-hour, 32-minute delay and announced the event will be reduced to 54 holes. The tournament was also delayed by rain Thursday and Saturday.
The 82 players who made the cut after 36 holes will resume the third and final round at 7 a.m. — weather permitting — at TPC Louisiana.
It will be only the third time in the 68-year history of New Orleans’ PGA Tour event a tournament was shortened to 54 holes. The other times were in 1982 when Scott Hoch won, and 1985 when Seve Ballesteros prevailed.
Former LSU golfers David Toms and Ben Taylor, the only players with Louisiana ties to make the cut, both lost a little ground when the third round resumed Sunday.
Toms started the third round Saturday and played two holes before the course was cleared for a rain delay that eventually caused suspension of the round for the night. He got through the 12th hole Sunday and is tied for 42nd at 5-under.
Taylor, who was preparing to hit his tee shot on his first hole Saturday when play was halted, was even through nine holes Sunday morning and was tied for 68th at 2-under.
Happy birthday, Ellie
While Jason Day was waiting out a lengthy rain delay in the clubhouse Sunday, his wife, Ellie, was celebrating her 30th birthday in the Bahamas.
“I think it was a big one for her, she’s been a little depressed about turning 30,” Day said. “I’m like, ‘Easy there, I look at it as I’m a level 28 and she’s level 30 now.’ We’re just going up and up in levels.
“But she’s enjoying herself with the kids and her girlfriends down there, and I’m stuck in New Orleans with the rain.”
It wasn’t a complete washout Sunday. Day started his third round and was 3-under in eight holes before play was suspended, getting to within three shots of the lead at 10-under.
Ryan Ruffels, who was born in the United States and raised in Melbourne, Australia, celebrated his 18th birthday Friday while playing in his sixth PGA Tour event since turning pro earlier this year.
Ruffels got in the Zurich Classic on a sponsor’s exemption and was tied for 14th place at 8-under through 11 when the third round was suspended by rain Sunday.
Before the Zurich Classic, he had missed three consecutive cuts. He’s won $35,893, with his best finish a tie for 43rd at the Farmers Insurance Open.
Block top volunteer
Kevin Block, a New Orleans engineer who serves as a marshal at the Zurich Classic, was voted the winner of the PGA Volunteer Challenge this week.
In the Volunteer Challenge, fans vote for their favorite volunteer to raise funds for charity while recognizing the work of the PGA Tour’s volunteers across the country.
In recognition of Block’s win, a $10,000 donation will be made in his name to St. Michael Special School.
Second-round leader Brian Stuard, who is now tied for the top spot with Jhonattan Vegas at 13-under, is trying to become the 16th player since 1990 to notch his first win on the PGA Tour in New Orleans. … Vegas is after his second PGA Tour win to go with his title at the 2011 CareerBuilder Challenge. Because he lost his playing privileges when he finished 164th on the money list last season, he is playing here on past champion status. … Stuard has played 41 holes this week and is the only bogey-free player in the field. … The Golf Channel will have live coverage of Monday’s play starting at 7 a.m.
— Follow Sheldon Mickles on Twitter, @MicklesAdvocate.