The PGA Tour Championship resumed play after lightning struck and injured six fans during Saturday’s third round in Atlanta.
Storms rolled through East Lake Golf Club during the round on Saturday afternoon forcing play to stop at 4:17 p.m., after Justin Thomas and Brooks Koepka wrapped at the fifth hole. Two lightning bolts struck only 28 minutes later – one hit in the maintenance area and another hit a tree near the 16th tee, spraying debris injuring six people.
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The impact caused five fans to be transported via ambulance to area hospitals for medical examination, while another fan was treated on-site and released.
Thomas leads the pack at 12-under-par, one stroke ahead of Koepka and Rory McIlroy. Xander Schauffele is in fourth place, two strokes back. The fourth round will begin as planned Sunday afternoon.While there was a chance of bad weather Saturday afternoon, the “pop-up” storms were only expected to be short, as the group teed off at 3:20 p.m. The PGA Tour’s chief of operations, Tyler Dennis, said they always consider the weather when planning events, but some issues are unpredictable.“Forecasting the weather, the safety that goes along with it, that is critical to us,” Dennis said. “I believe it was a 50-60 percent chance of storms from 3:00 to 6:00 this afternoon -- and we just have to evaluate it and make our best decision when we make the schedule. Obviously when it comes down to suspension of play … we don't leave any room for error there. Safety is a huge priority for us.”
CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ON FOX BUSINESSScoreboards notified fans of inclement weather and they were urged to evacuate the course when play suspended.“When we suspend play, we encourage everybody to leave and take shelter anywhere they can,” said Mark Russell, the PGA Tour’s vice president of Rules & Competition. “We opened up hospitality areas that are grounded, a lot of other places like that. You've got a lot of people, and you have to do that quickly.”