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Heavy rain at BMW Championship sets up Monday finish

By Mark Lamport-Stokes

LAKE FOREST, Illinois (Reuters) - Play was suspended for the day at the BMW Championship on Sunday after torrential downpours left the course water-logged, with the final round scheduled to resume at 8 a.m. CT (1300 GMT) on Monday.

Twenty-two players in the field of 70 were yet to tee off after three-and-a-half hours of action had been wiped out earlier in the day and at 4 p.m. officials abandoned a further resumption as steady rain kept the par-71 layout saturated.

Pools of water had formed on fairways and greens at Conway Farms Golf Club after almost an inch of rainfall on Sunday, forcing the PGA Tour's penultimate FedExCup playoff event to go into a fifth day.

Tournament leader Jim Furyk and second-placed Steve Stricker are scheduled to tee off in the final pairing at 9:40 a.m. on Monday.

"I guess there's good and bad news," Furyk told reporters after spending much of Sunday watching National Football League games in the clubhouse locker room. "The bad news, obviously I'm anxious to get out there and play, as is everyone else.

"But the good news is no one wants to go out and play in this and slop it around in bad weather on a golf course where we're playing the ball down (no preferred lies) and it's probably a little too wet out there."

It will be the third unscheduled Monday finish on the PGA Tour this year, the most since 2010 when three tournaments spilled over into an extra day.

In all, 22 tournaments have been delayed by weather on the U.S. circuit this season, including the first three FedExCup playoff events.

AFTERNOON SUNSHINE

Conditions are expected to be cloudy on Monday morning, with a slight chance of showers, though sunshine is forecast for the afternoon.

"For the most part of the day, we feel pretty good that we might see some sunshine tomorrow, and it's going to be better as the day goes on," said Slugger White, the PGA Tour's vice president of rules and competition.

"We've had a pretty trying day. We did everything we possibly could to try to get this thing in, but it just wasn't going to happen, unfortunately. We didn't think we were going to have this accumulation of rain."

Six players managed to complete their rounds before play was abandoned, including defending champion Rory McIlroy who fired a second successive three-under-par 68 to finish at seven-over 291, having languished stone last after 36 holes.

That marked the end of McIlroy's 2013 PGA Tour campaign as he failed to qualify for the elite 30-man field for next week's Tour Championship in Atlanta, the final playoff event.

American Furyk, seeking his first PGA Tour victory since the Tour Championship in 2010 when he also landed FedExCup honours, was at 13-under 200 overnight after carding a 69 in Saturday's third round.

Stricker was a further stroke back in second, having soared into contention with a 64, ahead of fellow Americans Brandt Snedeker (71), at 11 under, and Zach Johnson (69), at 10 under.

American world number one Tiger Woods, still smarting after being docked two strokes for a rules violation during Friday's second round, was a further shot back in fifth after returning a third-round 66.

(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes; Editing by Gene Cherry)

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