Saturday, March 17, 2018

Tiger Woods craters at PGA's Farmers Insurance Open

SAN DIEGO — Tiger Woods was right. The South Course at Torrey Pines is playing about as tough as it did for the U.S. Open in 2008.

But that's the only similarity.

Woods won that U.S. Open. He won't even have a tee time in the final round at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Gary Woodland used power to his advantage Saturday — oddly enough, everywhere but on the par 5s — to pick up five birdies in his round of 2-under 70 that gave him a one-shot lead over Jordan Spieth and Marc Leishman going into a final day that won't include Woods.

Instead of getting back into the tournament, the defending champion and eight-time professional winner at Torrey Pines delivered a shocking performance. Woods went seven straight holes making bogey or worse and wound up with 7-over 79, matching his worst score on American soil.

Woods left without speaking to reporters and with an "MDF" next to his name, the PGA Tour's acronym for "made the cut, did not finish." Because more than 78 players advanced to the weekend, there was a 54-hole cut for top 70 and ties. Only one other player, club pro Michael Block, had a worse score than Woods.

"You get going south on this golf course, you can definitely put up some numbers in a hurry," Woodland said when he heard about Woods' score. "I don't think he's too concerned about it."

Woodland was at 8-under 208, the highest 54-hole score to lead this tournament since Dave Rummells' 4-under 212 in 1993.

Spieth had a one-shot lead to start the third round, but it was gone quickly. He missed a 30-inch par putt on the opening hole and took double bogey on No. 5. His biggest putt might have been a 6-footer for par on the 14th, and Spieth looked confident the rest of the way to salvage 75.

LPGA: Na Yeon Choi shot 7-under 66 to take a one-stroke lead in the season-opening Bahamas Classic in Paradise Island, chipping to a foot to set up a birdie on the par-5 18th hole.

The seventh-ranked Choi, a seven-time winner on tour, birdied three of the last four holes in her bogey-free round to reach 15-under 204 on Atlantis Resort's Ocean Club course.

"I think the last three rounds I had a really good swing," Choi said. "I had so many good shots. But I still have to play aggressively (today). So many players have a chance."

Lizette Salas was a stroke back. She also had a bogey-free 66. Seminole's Brittany Lincicome (71) was at 7-under 212, Tampa resident Kristy McPherson (69) at 213 and Tampa's Cindy LaCrosse (70) at 214.

PGA EUROPE: Sergio Garcia birdied the third extra hole to beat Mikko Ilonen in a playoff and win the Qatar Masters in Doha for his second victory in three events. Garcia entered the round three shots behind overnight leader and fellow Spaniard Rafa Cabrera-Bello but birdied six of his last 12 for 7-under 65, forcing Ilonen to make an 18-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to force the playoff with 66. They both finished at 16-under 272.