2023 Tour Championship: Third round suspended due to inclement weather

A leaderboard displays a message indicating a suspension of play due to inclement weather during the third round of the TOUR Championship at East Lake Golf Club on August 26, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Third round play was suspended at the Tour Championship.

Getty Images

Update: Play resumed at 6:43 p.m. ET.

As expected, the third round of the Tour Championship at East Lake has been hot. For the second time in the past three events, heat indexes have soared into the triple digits.

Hotlanta is living up to its name.

What wasn’t expected was a weather impact to Saturday’s play in the PGA Tour’s playoff finale.

But just before tournament leader Viktor Hovland was to pull the trigger on the 12th tee, tournament officials waived him off and the horn blew at 5:28 p.m. ET suspending play due to a “dangerous weather situation.”

Much to the bewilderment of the CBS broadcast crew and PGA Tour officials, a storm cell had popped up just north of the golf course, tracking south, directly for the eight groups still to complete their third rounds.

The PGA Tour’s Saturday weather report listed only a 15-20% chance of rain between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. On the CBS broadcast, Jim Nantz said there was no indication the round would be interrupted by weather during CBS’s morning call with the Tour.

After two birdies on the front nine, Hovland had opened up a four-shot lead on Xander Schauffele in solo second. The next players were six shots off Hovland’s lead at 12 under, including World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler, and overnight co-leader Collin Morikawa.

It had not yet begun to rain at East Lake at the time of the delay.

Play was suspended twice during the third round at the 2022 Tour Championship, leading to several players completing their third rounds on Sunday morning.

Viktor Hovland watches drive at 2023 Tour Championship
How to watch the 2023 Tour Championship on Saturday: Round 3 live coverage
By: Kevin Cunningham

However, PGA Tour official Mark Dusbabek said on the CBS broadcast that is not expected to happen on Saturday.

“We just wanted to get [everyone] off, get em to safety, let this thing bypass us and get out and play as soon as we can here,” Dusbabek said, adding the PGA Tour’s meteorologist would “turn ’em around as soon as possible.”

Sunset Saturday in Atlanta is 8:11 p.m. local time.

Play resumed at 6:43 p.m. after a total delay of one hour and 15 minutes.

Rain could continue to play a factor into Sunday, with the Tour’s forecast calling for isolated to scattered thunderstorms in the afternoon. The highest chance for rain and thunderstorms is from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. with the possibilities for heavy downpours and 35 mph wind gusts. That would be right about when the champion is expected to lift the FedEx Cup.

Jack Hirsh

Golf.com Editor

Jack Hirsh is an assistant editor at GOLF. A Pennsylvania native, Jack is a 2020 graduate of Penn State University, earning degrees in broadcast journalism and political science. He was captain of his high school golf team and recently returned to the program to serve as head coach. Jack also still *tries* to remain competitive in local amateurs. Before joining GOLF, Jack spent two years working at a TV station in Bend, Oregon, primarily as a Multimedia Journalist/reporter, but also producing, anchoring and even presenting the weather. He can be reached at jack.hirsh@golf.com.