SPORTS

McIlroy takes Irish Open lead on lightning-delayed 3rd day

  • Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy tees off on the 4th hole during day three of the Irish Open at The K Club, County Kildare, Ireland. Saturday May 21, 2016. (Brian Lawless /PA via AP) UNITED KINGDOM OUT - NO SALES - NO ARCHIVES

    Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy tees off on the 4th hole during day three of the Irish Open at The K Club, County Kildare, Ireland. Saturday May 21, 2016. (Brian Lawless /PA via AP) UNITED KINGDOM OUT - NO SALES - NO ARCHIVES  (The Associated Press)

  • Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy makes his way to the third tee during day three of the Irish Open at The K Club, County Kildare. Ireland. Saturday May 21, 2016. (Brian Lawless /PA via AP) UNITED KINGDOM OUT - NO SALES - NO ARCHIVES

    Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy makes his way to the third tee during day three of the Irish Open at The K Club, County Kildare. Ireland. Saturday May 21, 2016. (Brian Lawless /PA via AP) UNITED KINGDOM OUT - NO SALES - NO ARCHIVES  (The Associated Press)

  • Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy putts on the 2nd green during day three of the Irish Open at The K Club, County Kildare. Ireland. Saturday May 21, 2016. (Brian Lawless /PA via AP) UNITED KINGDOM OUT - NO SALES - NO ARCHIVES

    Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy putts on the 2nd green during day three of the Irish Open at The K Club, County Kildare. Ireland. Saturday May 21, 2016. (Brian Lawless /PA via AP) UNITED KINGDOM OUT - NO SALES - NO ARCHIVES  (The Associated Press)

Rory McIlroy could be on the cusp of his first Irish Open victory if the heavens permit him to finish.

Lightning storms bedeviled Saturday's third round at the K Club. Tournament organizers suspended play for the night with McIlroy ready to tee off the 16th hole holding a three-stroke lead over Masters champion Danny Willett.

McIlroy protested to officials amid bucketing rain that fading light meant he couldn't see the course properly.

McIlroy, 9 under for the tournament, has never won the Irish Open and failed for the past three years to make the cut. He was the only player Saturday not to drop a single shot.

Willett started the day one shot ahead of McIlroy, but carded bogeys in three of his first seven holes to fall into second.