Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. After making consecutive birdies, Honda Classic leader Rory Sabbatini stood in the rough along the sixth fairway, complaining to a PGA Tour official about a delay in play and wondering what had become of the group just ahead of him.
The strange interruption could have halted Sabbatini’s momentum. Instead, after a long wait he hit an iron 200 yards to 10 feet of the pin, one of his best shots among the 66 Saturday that gave him a cushy lead.
Sabbatini will enter the final round at 9-under 201, five shots ahead of Jerry Kelly and 2009 winner Y.E. Yang.
The wait at No. 6 occurred when Kelly, playing two groups ahead of Sabbatini, lodged a shot in a palm tree. A newspaper photographer’s zoom lens was used to identify the ball as Kelly’s, allowing him to avoid being penalized for a lost ball.
The inspection took time, so the twosome behind Kelly played through. Meanwhile, Sabbatini and playing partner Kyle Stanley waited and wondered how they had caught up with Kelly.
Yang birdied the last two holes for a 3-under 67 and moved into a tie for second with Kelly, who shot a roller-coaster 68. Former Jayhawk Gary Woodland also had a 68 and was fourth, six shots behind.