Martin Kaymer`s pursuit of the US PGA Tour`s prestigious Players Championship title was slowed by a weather delay on Sunday.
The former world number one from Germany had a three-shot lead and was lining up a birdie putt at the 14th when players were called off the course because of lightning in the area.
Officials hoped to get the players back on the course and have enough daylight left to complete the tournament on Sunday evening.
Kaymer was three-under for the day and 15-under for the tournament when play was suspended.
"I was a little sad we had to stop," Kaymer told an NBC television interviewer. "I had a really good round going."
American Jim Furyk, 12-under through 17, was Kaymer`s closest rival. Furyk was facing a par putt at his final hole when play was suspended.
Rising US star Jordan Spieth, who went into the final round tied with Kaymer for the lead, was one-over for the day and four shots off the pace.
Spieth, 20, had played 58 holes without a bogey this week and briefly took the outright lead with birdies at the second and fourth holes before he dropped shots at the fifth, eighth and 10th.
One thing was already decided by the time of the weather delay -- Tiger Woods will still be world number one next week.
Woods was unable to defend his title at TPC Sawgrass as he continues to recover from surgery to ease a pinched nerve.
In his absence, Australia`s world number two Adam Scott, number three Henrik Stenson of Sweden, Masters champion Bubba Watson and fellow American Matt Kuchar all had a mathematical chance of toppling Woods, but none got that job done.
Scott had the best chance, needing a top-16 finish, but he fell well short and his final-round 73 saw him tied for 38th when he completed his round.
However, Scott is still projected to move to number one in the coming weeks.
"It`s weird," Scott said. "You want to do it playing well and getting good results, but it`s just the way our system is.
"But it`s also not the biggest focus for me at the moment. I`m trying to play some good golf and get myself ready to play the next big event."