Justin Rose at the Farmers Insurance Open on Saturday. Courtesy PGA

Englishman Justin Rose shot a 3-under-par 69 Saturday at Torrey Pines Golf Course‘s South Course to tie the Farmers Insurance Open‘s 54-hole record of 18-under-par 198.

Rose holds a three-shot lead over Australian Adam Scott entering Sunday’s final round. Spaniard Jon Rahm is in third, four shots off the lead, one shot ahead of American Doug Ghim.

Rose overcame double bogeys on the fourth and 14th holes, both par-4s, with six birdies and an eagle-3 on the ninth hole. Rose put his approach shot into the water hazard on the par-5 18th, completing his round with a bogey, tying Kyle Stanley’s 54-hole tournament record set in 2012.

“My game felt pretty good last week, but didn’t really score,” Rose said, referring his six-way tie in the Desert Classic at 14-under-par 274, 12 shots behind winner Adam Long. “This week I’ve done a nice job of kind of getting into my shots and executing a bit better and obviously the scores are responding.”

Scott had the day’s low score, a seven-under-par 65, as he moved from a nine-way tie for ninth, seven shots off the lead, into second.

Scott began his round with a birdie and eagle. He overcame a bogey at the par-4 fourth with birdies on fifth, sixth, seventh, ninth and 13th holes. He also bogeyed the par-3 16th but birdied the 18th.

“The start was incredible, and you don’t want to get too far ahead of yourself after that, but you also want to take advantage of a start like that,” said Scott, who is playing in the tournament for the first time. He tied for 26th in the 2008 U.S. Open, played on Torrey Pines’ South Course.

“It’s a really tough course and I just hit a lot of good shots on the front nine and made a couple putts, had a couple two-putt birdies and a hole fell into place. But again, it’s back to reality on the back nine and a bit of a grind. It was nice to birdie the last, but still as good as I’m playing, I feel like I’m a long way behind.”

Scott said Rose “seems to be in total control.”

“If he plays like this, he’s going to be very hard to catch,” Scott said.

Rahm made six birdies and bogeys on the third and 14th holes for a round of 4-under-par 68, a day after shooting a par-72 on the South Course.

“I hit the ball a little bit better off the tee,” said Rahm, the 2017 Farmers Insurance Open winner. “I only missed two fairways and the two that I missed were barely right off the fairway.”

Rahm also credited “a couple of short putts that I made early on” to his better round.

“Yesterday I missed a couple of them, three-putted 9,” Rahm said. “Yesterday my iron play was really bad. Today it was bad, but still had a couple of good shots in there, though.”

Ghim offset bogeys on the fourth and 12th holes with seven birdies for a 4-under-par 68 to move into fourth, five shots off the lead. He was also among the nine golfers tied for ninth, seven shots off the lead, through two rounds.

Ghim turned pro last year after graduating from the University of Texas with a degree in government. He usually plays on the developmental Web.com Tour, but received a sponsor exemption to play in the Farmers Insurance Open.

“This whole week has been crazy,” Ghim said. “I was just happy to be here. Could be grinding it out in the Bahamas right now, and to watch those guys play, I was like I’m glad I’m here.”

The most recent tournament on the Web.com Tour, the $600,000 The Bahamas Great Abaco Classic at The Abaco Club in Great Abaco,  Bahamas, concluded Wednesday, played in incredibly windy conditions.

Ghim was first in the World Amateur Golf Ranking for five weeks in 2018 and the 2018 winner of the Ben Hogan Award as the top college golfer.

Ghim is making his 10th start of the PGA Tour. His best finish in a tie for 20th in the 2018 Wyndham Championship.

Hideki Matsuyama, who entered the round in second, three shots off the lead, shot a 1-over-par 73, dropping into a five-way tie for sixth, seven shots off the lead at 11-under-par 205.

Tiger Woods shot a 1-under-par 70 and is among 15 golfers tied for 48th at 5-under-par 211, 13 shots off the lead.

Woods began his round on the 10th hole, and completed it with back-to- back birdies on the eighth and ninth holes.

“I finally drove it good and didn’t hit my irons very close and again had a bunch of close calls on putts that just didn’t go in,” said Woods, who began the round tied for 48th, 11 shots off the lead. “Then finally … I made the last two.”

Rose, who is first on the Official World Golf Ranking, is trying to become the first player to win the $7.1 million Farmers Insurance Open after leading after three rounds since Woods in 2013. Each of the last five winners have been at least two shots off the lead entering the final round.

Stanley, whose 2012 54-hole tournament record Rose tied, shot a 2-over- par 74 in the final round of that year’s tournament and lost to Brandt Snedeker in a two-hole playoff.

“I expect Jon and Adam to come out and play well tomorrow as well as the chasing pack, but one of those guys is capable of something in the mid 60s,” said Rose, who is seeking to become the first player from England with 10 PGA Tour titles since 1945. Rose and Nick Faldo each have nine.

“I think it’s going to take a good round of golf tomorrow to get this done.”

— City News Service

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