Friday, June 22, 2018

Choi, Brown share lead at Farmers Insurance Open

SAN DIEGO — Scott Brown and K.J. Choi, both of moderate length off the tee, are tied for the lead at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, where the South Course is the longest all year on the PGA Tour. It helps to hit it straight.

One shot behind was Jimmy Walker, who has plenty of power but hit only three fairways Saturday. It helps to make putts.

The mystery of this tournament adds another element for the final round with a nasty forecast. Bracing for increasingly heavy rain and gusts up to 40 mph, the PGA Tour moved up today's tee times as early as possible to try to avoid the worst of it.

With 16 players separated by three shots, this could be anybody's tournament.

"I enjoy the grind of it. And I like tough golf courses," Brown said. "And I think we're going to have both" today.

Choi one-putted his last six holes to salvage par 72 and a share of the lead with Brown, who missed three good birdie opportunities late in his round of 70. They were at 9-under 207.

One shot behind were Walker (68) and Gary Woodland, who shared the 36-hole lead with Choi and didn't see anything go in until late in his round. Woodland made two birdies over the last four holes for 73.

"You want it to be as tough as you can," Woodland said. "You want to go out there and earn it. So I hope it's tough, and I hope I have a good day."

Choi was headed in the wrong direction until he made two birdies, saved par on three straight holes then hit wedge to 3 feet on the par-5 18th for one last birdie.

"The last birdie will help, because (today) it's going to be tough," Choi said. "So it was a very good round."

Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler missed the cut, though Torrey Pines still has a local favorite to cheer. That would be Michael Kim, the Cal grad who went to Torrey Pines High School and grew up watching Mickelson and Tiger Woods win here. Kim had 70 and was among four players at 7-under 209.

LPGA: Charley Hull and Anna Nordqvist shared the lead in the season-opening Bahamas Classic, and Ha Na Jang had the first hole-in-one on a par 4 in tour history at Paradise Island, Bahamas.

Hull made a 10-foot birdie putt on the par-5 18th to match Nordqvist at 12-under 207. Hull had 4-under 69. Nordqvist also birdied the 18th for 68.

Jang made the albatross on the eighth hole, a mere 218 yards playing at a distance normally considered a par 3. Her 3-wood shot into light wind landed a yard in front of the green and rolled in. She was five strokes back after 68.

SPIETH RETREATS: Jordan Spieth's woes with the putter continued to stall his momentum at the Singapore Open as he fell five shots off the lead heading into the final round. Returning to the Sentosa Golf Club shortly after sunrise to finish his third round due to rain delays, the world's top-ranked player missed his par putt on the 17th green, where he had marked his ball overnight, to drop back to 5 under for the tournament. Song Young-han birdied three of his five remaining third-round holes to lead the co-sanctioned Asian and Japan tours event at 11 under.

ANALYST BEATS CANCER: NBC Sports and Golf Channel analyst Mark Rolfing said tests show his rare form of cancer is now "100 percent gone." Rolfing was diagnosed last summer with Stage 4 salivary gland cancer.

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