PGA Tour

Choi, Brown tied for lead at Torrey Pines

2016-01-31 07:52
KJ Choi (AP Photo)

San Diego - Scott Brown and KJ 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 he 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 the 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 tomorrow."

Choi one-putted his last six holes to salvage an even-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 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 a 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 the wrong direction until he made a pair of birdies, saved par on three straight holes and then hit wedge to 3 feet on the par-5 18th for one last birdie.

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

Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler each missed the cut, though Torrey Pines still has a local favourite 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 a 70 and was among four players at 7-under 209.

Another shot back was a group that included Dustin Johnson, who didn't make a birdie until the 13th hole and still managed to limit the damage to a 74.

Choi hasn't won since The Players Championship in 2011, which gave him a five-year exemption that ends this year. He was an assistant captain in the Presidents Cup in October, and showed he still has plenty of game. Giving 30 yards off the tee to Johnson and Woodland, he rarely was out of play and dropped shots mainly on a three-putt bogey at No. 5 and a poor chip across the green at No. 7 that led to double bogey.

But he got back into the mix with his strong finish, particularly the par saves on the 15th and 16th holes.

Brown appeared to be the most relaxed, maybe because of his home life. His wife, Allison, gave birth to their second daughter a week ago Tuesday. Brown said that might have put him at ease this week, and he recorded back-to-back top 10s on the PGA Tour for the first time in 2012 right after their first daughter was born.

Read more on:    pga tour  |  farmers insurance open  |  kj choi  |  golf

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk


Who will win the 2016 edition of the Ryder Cup?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.