Friday, May 25, 2018

Spieth takes lead at PGA event at Torrey Pines

SAN DIEGO — Jordan Spieth turned out to be the star attraction Friday playing with Tiger Woods at Torrey Pines.

Spieth again showed game well beyond his 20 years with 9-under 63 on the North Course, giving him a one-shot lead over Stewart Cink after two rounds at the Farmers Insurance Open. Cink drilled a 3-wood from 280 yards onto the green at the par-5 ninth on the tougher South Course for a two-putt birdie and 71.

Woods rarely gets upstaged at Torrey Pines, where his eight professional wins include the 2008 U.S. Open.

But in his first competition in six weeks, Woods hardly looked the part of defending champion. He did not make birdie on any of the par 5s for the second straight day, and a three-putt bogey on the par-5 ninth on the North gave him 71.

He was nine shots behind.

Phil Mickelson's ailing back wasn't much better, though he plodded along and shot 73 on the South to finish eight off the lead. Mickelson contemplated pulling out to rest his back, and said only that he would give it a shot today depending on how he felt.

"Any time you can shoot a lower score than a 66 or 65 and you can really get it deep and be in a zone and not worry about what your score is … that's special," Spieth said. "That's proving that I can play my best golf when it matters on a PGA Tour venue. Each time you can do that, you get more and more confident that you can do it more often."

Spieth was at 10-under 134 and in the last group today with Cink and Nicolas Colsaerts, who shot 67 on the South and was two shots behind.

The final two rounds are on the South, which is about 600 yards longer and on Friday played more than 4½ shots harder.

"I wouldn't say it's rusty," Woods said of his game. "I was just a fraction off, and at this level, and on golf courses like this, if you're just a fraction off, it doesn't take much, especially as tight as the North Course is."

LPGA: Jessica Korda took the second-round lead in the season-opening Bahamas Classic, birdieing four of her last seven holes for 7-under 66 at Paradise Island. The 20-year-old was at 11-under 135 on Atlantis Resort's Ocean Club course. Paula Creamer, playing alongside Korda, was a stroke back after shooting 65. Michelle Wie (65) and Monday qualifier Jenny Suh (66) were tied for third at 9 under. Lydia Ko (70), the 16-year-old who shared the first-round lead with Meena Lee (76), was three behind at 8 under. Seminole's Brittany Lincicome (71) was at 5-under 141, Tampa's Cindy LaCrosse (74) at 144 and Tampa resident Kristy McPherson (71) at 144.

PGA Europe: Spain's Rafa Cabrera-Bello squandered a two-shot lead and was tied with England's Steve Webster for first heading to today's final round of the Qatar Masters in Doha. Cabrera-Bello shot 1-over 73 and was caught by Webster, who carded 70 for a three-round 12-under 204. France's Adrien Saddier (64), South Africa's Thomas Aiken (70) and Denmark's Thorbjorn Olesen (68) were one back. Four shots separated the top 19 players, among them Paul Lawrie (69) at 10 under, and Sergio Garcia (69) at 9 under.