Fog blanketing Torrey Pines Golf Course Saturday delayed the start of the third round of the $7.5 million Farmers Insurance Open by two hours.
Play was scheduled to begin at 7:35 a.m., but was rescheduled for 7:45 a.m., pushed back again to 8:05 a.m., then to 8:35 a.m., 9:05 a.m. and 9:35 a.m.
After play finally started, Tiger Woods birdied the first and third holes to move to within four strokes of leader Ryan Palmer in his first opportunity to be the PGA Tour’s winningest player.
Woods added a birdie on the sixth hole to cut Palmer’s lead to three strokes. Woods was among five golfers tied for fourth. He began the round among 21 golfers tied for 17th.
Palmer was set to start his round at 11:45 a.m. (he is not related to the late golfing legend Arnold Palmer).
Palmer shot a 10-under-par 62 on the North Course on Friday to take the lead at 10-under-par 134, two strokes ahead of fellow American Brandt Snedeker. Four golfers were tied for third at the end of the second round, three strokes off the lead, including first-round co-leader Sebastian Cappelen of Denmark.
Palmer was both one stroke off the 18-hole scoring record at the Farmers Insurance Open — set by Mark Brooks in 1990 and tied by Snedeker in 2007 — and his career-low round, which came in the second round of the 2015 Humana Challenge.
He credited the round to “driving the ball great and I was able to finally get some putts to go in.”
“I knew today when I got out here … the low rounds were out here,” Palmer said Friday. “A good 5-, 6-under par round was to be had. I just took what I had and it turned into a 62.”
Palmer began the tournament Thursday with an par-72 on the South Course, with bogeys on three of his first seven holes, then birdies on three of his next six.
The 43-year-old Palmer is a four-time winner on the PGA Tour, including teaming with Jon Rahm to win last year’s Zurich Classic of New Orleans, his first victory since the 2010 Sony Open in Hawaii.
Snedeker, the 2012 and 2016 Farmers Insurance Open champion, made three consecutive birdies on two occasions, the third through fifth holes and 13th through 15th, as part of his 5-under-par 67 on the South Course.
American Keegan Bradley, the other first-round co-leader, shot an par- 72 on the South Course, dropping into a five-way tie for seventh, four strokes off the lead.
Woods shot a 1-under-par 71 on Torrey Pines Golf Course’s South Course on Friday, beginning his round with a four-putt double bogey. Woods birdied the sixth, eighth, ninth and 10th holes, bogeyed the 12th and 17th and birdied the 18th.
“Not exactly the best of starts, but figured it out and turned it around,” Woods said. “Unfortunately, made a mistake at 17 that cost me a shot. Good birdie at 18 though.”
Woods cited the course’s poa annua greens as one reason for his double bogey.
“I tried to ram it in the hole and it bounced, and hit obviously a terrible third putt, pulled it,” Woods said. “The second putt, it’s just what happens on poa. I tried to take the break out and it just bounced.”
When trailing by six or more strokes in a 72-hole PGA Tour event after 36 holes, Woods has converted for the win eight times, including three times at the Farmers Insurance Open. Of the 12 previous times Woods has had a 4- putt, he won only once, the 2005 Masters.
The Farmers Insurance Open is Woods’ first official PGA Tour event since winning the Zozo Championship Oct. 27 to tie Sam Snead’s record of 82 victories.
The field was reduced to the low 70 plus ties. Defending champion Justin Rose, three-time champion Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler were among the golfers failing to make the cut, which was at 1-under-par 143.
–City News Service