Rory McIlroy got struck up a tree then climbed the leaderboard at the weather hit US PGA championship in Carolina.

The Irishman leads with Vijay Singh after the third round at Kiawah Island was delayed due to a thunderstorm.

The players will now play 27 holes on Sunday as McIlroy looks for the second major of his career.

McIlroy hit five birdies in eight holes before a bogey on the ninth left him tied with Singh on six under.

His round included real drama when TV footage had to be used to confirm his ball was stuck up a tree on the third.

McIlroy sensibly took a penalty drop after he drove his ball into a tree and then pitched to within seven feet of the hole before making the resulting putt.

The 23-year-old “It was a great start, the start that I was looking to get off to.

“It’s nice going into the final day, well hopefully, if we get it finished, in a great position.

“It being 27 holes, I definitely don’t mind that. I don’t mind if it takes a while to get done. I am just in a great position going into Sunday and that’s all I can really ask for.”

Graeme McDowell is four shots off the lead and Padraig Harrington a further shot behind.

Rory McIlroyPhotograph: Tannen Maury/EPA