Graeme McDowell slipped one shot behind Nick Watney when he resumed his delayed third round in the weather-affected Players Championship at Sawgrass. {Track his progress here}

The US Open champion - who birdied the first, chipped in at the third and then birdied the fifth late on Saturday evening to finish a day of rainstorms tied for the lead with American talent Nick Watney on 11 under - parred his way to the turn early on Sunday as Watney birdied the eighth to get to 12 under.

Darkness brought play to an end on Saturday and McDowell knows that the event could turn into a cavalry charge on the softened Pete Dye design with upwards of 25 players within six shots of the lead.

McDowell said: “The golf course had changed significantly when we did get back out there. The greens were a lot more receptive, the fairways were a lot more receptive, so you can play the golf course much more aggressively, and I think that’s going to make for low scoring tomorrow.

“I am under no illusions; maybe if the golf course had have stayed the same way it was yesterday and continued to firm up, 10-, 11-under might have won this golf tournament, but I think it’s going to take 15, 16, maybe more, with the way things have softened up.

“I could see someone going and shooting 62, 63 tomorrow. I think there’s a low score on this golf course, depending on what the wind does tomorrow, of course. But it really has opened the field up a little bit, these conditions now. There was some good scoring this morning even before the delay.

“I know Peter Hanson was 7-under through 16 holes. But it just shows you what can be done on this golf course. It’s not long by modern standards and when you start attacking some pins you can make some scores.

“It’s going to be exciting. This is probably one of the most exciting finishes in world golf, and to have that many guys within striking distance tomorrow, it’s going to be a lot of fun hopefully to be part of.”