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Rain hampers NCAA golf tournament, officials cut stroke-play portion to 54 holes

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HUTCHINSON, Kan. - The third round of a golf tournament is often referred to as "moving day."

For Stanford and Cardinal players Cameron Wilson and Patrick Rodgers, they did not need to move Sunday to keep their leads in the NCAA tournament.

Stanford did not play a hole Sunday at Prairie Dunes. The rainy weather that threw the tournament off track on the first day continued to wreak havoc, resulting in a tournament format gone haywire.

The fourth round originally scheduled for Monday was cancelled, leaving the individual competition and team qualifying for match play at 54 holes.

The bottom 15 teams started their third round Sunday night only to be stopped by lightning again after seven to nine holes. Their rounds are scheduled to be completed Monday morning.

The top 15 teams in the standings are scheduled to play their third rounds Monday afternoon.

Wilson (6 under) and Rodgers (5 under) will enter Monday's play in the lead individually. In the team competition, Stanford (12 under) leads Alabama (8 under) and Oklahoma State (4 under) for the top seed in Tuesday's match-play team competition.

Houston junior Roman Robledo typified Sunday's action. His day started at 7 a.m. with the final four holes of his second round. Some eight hours later, he played the first seven holes of his third round.

"I've been through delays and nonsense before," Robledo said. "But considering this is the national championship, playing 11 holes in 12 hours is kind of unbelievable."

As he finally sat down to dinner at about 8:15 p.m., Robledo was smiling, though. He birdied three of his final five holes Sunday night, moving him from a tie for 26th into a tie for 7th at 3 under.

"I was struggling with my driver earlier, and you can't do that here, get in that fescue or worse stuff off the fairway," he said. "So I was finally finding fairways, making putts and then I heard that horn (for the lightning delay.) I was absolutely bummed. I wanted to keep going. I was like, 'You've got be kidding me.'"

Things were even worse for Georgia State's Davin White. Ranked 153rd entering the week by Golfstat, he was a surprise name on the leaderboard. As he walked No. 8 — his 17th hole of the second round — Monday afternoon, he saw a video board showing he had pulled even with Wilson at 6 under.

After making a sand save on No. 8, he was just off the green on No. 9 after his approach shot.

But his chip shot travelled to the other side of the green. After a lag putt, he rimmed out a 3-footer. The double bogey dropped him to 4 under.

"It was a lousy way to end it," White said. "If you had offered me a (3-under) 67 before the round, I would have taken it. But now I'd like to not think about that last hole."

Instead, the fluid schedule situation had him teeing off 40 minutes later. He went 5 over in the seven holes before play was ended for the day, dropping him to a tie for 41st.

Prior to last week, Hutchinson was in a severe drought and suffering one of the driest starts to a year on record. Monday's forecast calls for a 40 per cent chance of scattered storms.

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