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