Hurry up and wait: Rain tries competitors’ patience at Zurich Classic _lowres

Erik Compton watches his tee shot on the second hole during the third round of the Zurich Classic PGA golf tournament, Saturday, April 25, 2015, in Avondale, La. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

Weather delays on the PGA Tour are inevitable, especially in the spring.

Golfers have to make the best of a bad situation when they’re forced to head to the clubhouse — like Saturday at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.

Players who didn’t get to complete their second round Friday returned to TPC Louisiana on Saturday morning, knowing they could be in for a long day.

They just didn’t know how long.

Shortly after noon, they found out when play was suspended for the third day in a row by severe weather. Heavy rain and high winds had the players in the clubhouse for just under six hours before play resumed at 5:57 p.m.

“It was a lot of boredom for a while,” Jason Gore said as he piled his clubs into the trunk of his courtesy car after play was suspended by darkness just after 7:30 p.m. “But we’ve all been through it before.”

Gore laughed and said he spent part of the time trying to roll a golf ball around his cap on a table in the clubhouse’s grille. The wait was extra long for Gore, who is 7-under for the tournament after he got through nine holes of the third round. He needed only two strokes to complete his second round after play was suspended Friday afternoon.

Even though he spent about 13 hours at the course, Gore said it wasn’t a total loss. Shortly after play resumed, players were able to put up a lot of red numbers on the softened greens and the sun came out.

“It was beautiful,” he said. “We kind of didn’t want the day to end.”

Former UL-Lafayette standout Michael Smith certainly had fun Saturday — both before and after the delay.

Smith, who earned his spot in the tournament when he tied for first in a Monday qualifier, made the cut at 6-under and then carded three more birdies Saturday to stand at 9-under through 11 holes of his third round.

Smith was tied for 16th when play was halted Saturday.

“I did absolutely nothing,” he said of the nearly six-hour delay. “I sat in the clubhouse and watched TV. I watched a little bit of hockey and did nothing.”

Erik Compton started the third round at 9-under, three strokes off the lead. But he birdied the first hole, then had to wait out the weather.

When he got back out, he birdied three of his next four holes and tied Jason Day for the lead at 13-under.

“It was nice to come out this morning and finish the round,” said Compton, who tied for fifth here last year. “I basically did what everybody else did. I saddled up and waited, and then we were lucky enough to get back out and play.

“(Sunday), we have to get out and do it again. Hopefully, the weather holds up.”