UPDATE II: Play resumed at 5:57 p.m.
UPDATE: The threat of severe weather has subsided and tournament officials have announced that play will resume at 6 p.m. ET. The range will open at 5:25 p.m.
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- A band of approaching thunderstorms and lightning in the area has prompted PGA TOUR officials to suspend play during Saturday's third round of THE PLAYERS Championship.
The horn sounded at 4:09 p.m. ET with the final group of Sergio Garcia and Tiger Woods playing the seventh hole. Players are being taken back to the clubhouse, which means it could be a significant delay.
"A line of thunderstorms storms popped up with the afternoon heat," Vice President of Rules Mark Russell said. "We knew this was coming, and we're hopeful we can get players back on the golf course but we're going to be down a while."
Added PGA TOUR meteorologist Wade Stetner: "There's a line of thunderstorms coming through and there's a system behaind that as well. This is only an estimate, but we're looking at 2 hours or more."
Henrik Stenson, the 2009 PLAYERS champ, is the current leader at 11 under. He is 2 under on his round, having just hit his tee shot at the ninth hole before the horn blew.
Garcia and Woods are at 10 under and tied for second.
Jeff Maggert is the clubhouse leader at 9 under after shooting a 6-under 66 on Saturday.
Saturday's forecast had called for a 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, with the highest possibility between 2-6 p.m. ET. A similar forecast exists for Sunday.
This is the second rain delay since THE PLAYERS was moved from March to May.
St. John's County, which is where Ponte Vedra Beach is located, is under a severe thunderstorm warning until 5 p.m. The main threats are lightning, downpours and wind gusts between 50-60 mph.