Rodgers began Saturday’s round on the South Course among 10 golfers tied for 11th, four shots behind first- and second-round leader Justin Rose. Rodgers shot a bogey-free 5-under-par 67, with birdies on the sixth, seventh, ninth, 10th and 13th holes, a day after shooting an even-par 72 on the course.
“The golf course was perfect, so it was just really pleasant to be out there,” said Rogers, who was among three golfers Saturday with bogey-free rounds.
“I drove it great today, I had a lot of chances to score, a lot of chances to be aggressive with the greens being soft and it was really nice to get a blemish-free day in today and hopefully carry that momentum into tomorrow.”
This is the first time in Rodgers’ 59 starts on the PGA Tour he has led or shared the lead after any round.
Snedeker said he thought the only advantage he’ll have over Rodgers is being able to sleep better Saturday night, but that advantage will go away when play begins this morning.
“The thing that I will use (Sunday is) I’ll pull on past experiences here a lot,” said Snedeker, who is playing in the tournament for the 11th time, nine more than Rodgers.
“I’ve played this golf course a ton with these exact same pin positions so I know where you’ve got to put it all day long, where you can’t miss it and my game plan will do that accordingly. He doesn’t have that vast experience in knowing that. But when you’re playing great, it doesn’t really matter.”
Snedeker was tied for second with Canadian Adam Hadwin at the start of the round, and shot a 2-under-par 70. He birdied the second and third holes, then made 12 pars and a bogey on the par-4 12th hole before a birdie on the par- 4 17th moved him into a tie for the lead. A par on the par-5 18th kept him tied for the lead.
This is the ninth time Snedeker has led or shared the lead of a PGA Tour event after 54 holes. He went on to win the tournament three times.
Snedeker is seeking to become first player to win the tournament in back- to-back years since Tiger Woods won four consecutive times from 2005-2008.
Snedeker is also seeking to join Woods, who has won the tournament seven times, and three-time winner Phil Mickelson as the only players to have three or more Farmers Insurance titles. Snedeker also won the tournament in 2012.
“Anytime you put your name on a list next to those guys, you’re doing OK,” Snedeker said. “It’ll probably enter my head at some point (Sunday), but to do that I’ve got a lot of golf to play. This golf course is ready to take a bite out of you if you’re not paying attention.”
Tony Finau and PGA Tour rookie C.T. Pan are tied for third, one stroke behind the co-leaders. Finau birdied four of his last six holes en route to a 5- under-par 67. Finau began the tournament with a 1-over-par 73 and was tied for 96th.
Pan shot his second consecutive 3-under-par 69.
Rose shot a 1-over-par 73 to drop into an eight-way tie for fifth, two strokes behind the leaders.
Rose said he was “delighted to be” two shots off the lead entering the final round.
Rose bogeyed the second, eighth and 12th holes and birdied the third and 13th.
“I didn’t hit enough fairways early in my round,” said Rose, who is seeking his first victory on the PGA Tour since the 2015 Zurich Classic of New Orleans. “Didn’t really make the most of the front nine and back nine was again tough. Hard to play catch-up on the back nine (Saturday). So I actually thought I did a good job really hanging with it.”
Torrey Pines High School graduate Pat Perez is also among the group tied for fifth after shooting a 5-under-par 67 Saturday. Perez said he spent much of his childhood at Torrey Pines Golf Course “working pretty much every job a kid can do here.”
Perez’s father Tony was an announcing starter at the tournament for more than 25 years.
Former San Diego State standout J.J. Spaun is among five golfers three shots off the lead at 9-under-par for the tournament after his second consecutive 3-under-par 69, both on the South Course.
Mickelson, a University of San Diego High School graduate, shot a 4- under-par 68 to move into a six-way tie for 18th, four strokes off the lead.
“I’m within striking distance if I can get hot, but there’s a lot of people between me and the lead, which means I’ve got to make birdies to go get them,” said Mickelson, whose most recent of his 42 PGA Tour victories came in the 2013 British Open. “If I can shoot something 65, 66, you never know, it might be enough.”
— City News Service