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Third-Round Play Begins at AT&T Golf, With No Fans to Watch

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June 30 (Bloomberg) -- Play resumed at the third round of the U.S. PGA Tour’s AT&T National after a six-hour delay caused by an overnight storm so destructive that the golf course prohibited fans from attending.

The storm knocked out power and uprooted trees both on the course and along the roads leading to Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland, the PGA Tour said on its website. Fans and tournament volunteers were excluded from the ground in the interest of safety, the tour said.

The round began at 1 p.m. local time, with players starting on both the first and 10th tees in groups of three.

Hunter Mahan holds a two-stroke lead over Robert Garrigus, Jimmy Walker and Brandon de Jonge. Tiger Woods is five strokes back in a tie for 11th place after shooting 68 yesterday.

PGA Tour meteorologist Stewart Williams said the storm is called a Derecho, a Spanish terms that means “straight.”

“In weather terms, it’s a storm that goes at least 250 miles with winds at least 58 miles (93 kilometers) per hour or better,” he said in a statement released by the PGA Tour.

According to Williams, the storm began in the Chicago area and gained momentum as it moved east. By time it reached the Washington area around 10:15 p.m. local time, the winds were about 70 mph. The storm lasted 30 minutes, dropping only about three-tenths of an inch of rain, before heading toward the Atlantic Ocean.

“These things are more big wind-makers than rain-makers,” Williams said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Bensch in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at

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