Rose set­tles for 3-shot lead at Tor­rey Pines

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - Sports - BY DOUG FER­GU­SON

Justin Rose tracked the flight of his 3-wood un­til he saw it splash into the pond guard­ing the 18th green at Tor­rey Pines. He walked a few steps and pulled his cap down over his eyes, the look of a man who had just made a cru­cial mis­take at the wrong time.

Not re­ally.

This was only Sat­ur­day. Rose wasn’t happy that he fin­ished up the third round with a bo­gey at the Farm­ers In­sur­ance Open, but it didn’t take away from a game so strong that hav­ing his lead cut in half over the clos­ing five holes was no cause for alarm.

Even with three penalty shots on the day, Rose still man­aged a 3-un­der 69 and a three-shot lead, the same mar­gin with which he be­gan the day. He’s play­ing that well. Adam Scott had the low round of the week on the South course with a 65, which pulled him within three shots and it still felt like a con­so­la­tion.

“As good as I’m play­ing, I feel like I’m a long way be­hind,” Scott said.

Rose had six birdies and an ea­gle that more than atoned for his mis­takes. Even with two dou­ble bo­geys and the bo­gey on the par-5 18th, he still matched the 54-hole tour­na­ment record at 18un­der 198, last set by Tiger Woods in 2008.

As for that bold at­tempt to go for the green?

He had an 8-iron from the first cut of rough to play it safe un­til he saw Ryan Palmer com­fort­ably reach the green. Rose went to the 3-wood, know­ing it could come out heavy, and that’s what it did.

“There was a long way to go,” Rose said. “So I wasn’t re­ally play­ing with the lead in mind at that point. If I was run­ning 30th in the tour­na­ment, that was a shot I would prob­a­bly hit. But yeah, it didn’t work out.”

Jon Rahm had a 68 and was four shots be­hind, fol­lowed by 22-year-old Doug Ghim, the for­mer No. 1 am­a­teur play­ing this week on a spon­sor’s ex­emp­tion. Ghim shot a 67.

Woods had the big­gest gallery and didn’t make much noise. Woods birdied three of his last five holes to sal­vage a 71, leav­ing him 13 shots be­hind and in search of moral vic­to­ries in his 2019 de­but. He was at 5-un­der 211. “I think if I can get to dou­ble dig­its (un­der par), it would be just a nice way to end the week,” Woods said. “I’ve got to play a lit­tle bet­ter than I have.”


Justin Rose had six birdies and an ea­gle dur­ing the third round of the Farm­ers In­sur­ance Open on Sat­ur­day in San Diego.

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