The Upshot: Farmers Insurance, Rd. 3
January 25, 2014
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
- In the third round of the Farmers Insurance Open, Gary Woodland fired a 2-under 70 to claim the lead. (Warshaw/Getty Images)
LA JOLLA, Calif. -- Gary Woodland was one of just 18 players to break par Saturday at Torrey Pines, where he carded a 2-under 70 Saturday to take a one-shot lead over Marc Leishman and Jordan Spieth into the final round of the Farmers Insurance Open.
But one of the biggest stories of the afternoon was who didn’t.
Tiger Woods shot a stunning 79 and for the first time in his career missed the 54-hole cut that is in place when more than 78 players make it to the weekend.
At one point, Woods had seven straight holes of making bogey or worse. It was the third-highest score of his career.
Woodland, meanwhile, will be trying to win for the third time in his career and second time in the last six months.
The long-hitting 29-year-old played his first 14 holes in 4 under before slipping up late with a bogey and a double bogey sandwiched around a birdie. Still, he had plenty to be pleased about on a day when the South Course showed its strength.
“If I drive the ball in play, I'm playing a little different golf course than most guys are playing,” Woodland said. “(I’m) playing very aggressive this week and all I have to do is execute.”
He didn’t have much trouble doing that, even if most everyone else did. Now he’s in a familiar position because of it.
When he won in Reno last year, he entered the final round in the lead. In his victory in Tampa, he was just two back going into the last day.
“I'm very comfortable in the position,” said Woodland, who also won four times in college when leading going into the final round. “I'm playing really well right now. I have a great game plan, I feel comfortable on this golf course, it really sets up for my eye.”
TIGER’S SHOCKING DAY: Tiger Woods recorded his highest-ever score at the Farmers Insurance Open, a 7-over 79 Saturday that resulted in him missing the secondary cut for the first time in his career on the PGA TOUR.
There were several things stunning about his day (and his week), especially when you consider that Woods has won here eight times, including a U.S. Open.
- He had to scramble just to break 80, chipping in to save par on the par-3 eighth (his 17th) and sinking a 10-foot par putt on the final hole. He still shot 42 over his final nine, making a double bogey followed by five straight bogeys.
- Woods didn’t birdie a single par 5 all week. In fact, he played them in a combined 4 over.
- At one point, he went: double-double-bogey-bogey-bogey-bogey-bogey.
- Woods didn’t speak to the media after his round but playing partner Jhonattan Vegas did, saying “It was definitely different seeing him making so many bogeys. You don't expect to see that out of him. He kept making mistakes."
- Woods will next play in Dubai this coming week. His next PGA TOUR event will likely be the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship or The Honda Classic.
SPIETH STAYS IN CONTENTION: After playing his first five holes in 4 over, it looked like Jordan Spieth might fall out of contention.
Instead, the 20-year-old continued to show poise beyond his years. He rallied with three birdies and made just two bogeys the rest of the day and enters the final round just a stroke off the lead.
Not bad considering he also hit just five fairways.
“That was as much as I’ve battled to make pars in a long time,” said Spieth, who shot 75.
Now he has a chance to make more history after becoming the first teenager to win on TOUR in more than 80 years last season.
Sunday, Spieth will be 20 years, 5 months and 30 days old. Tiger Woods won his second TOUR event at the age of 20 years, 9 months and 20 days.
He would also be the youngest winner here -- Phil Mickelson was 22 years, 8 months and five days old when he won here in 1993.
TOUGH TRACK: How difficult did Torrey Pines play on Saturday?
The South Course yielded zero bogey-free rounds for the first time all week and played to a scoring average of 73.721 – nearly two strokes over par.
Only five players broke 70 and scores ranged from 86 (Michael Block) to 67 (Andres Romero).
Looking like Even par for 3 rounds on the South would win. Very very difficult setup. Fair but brutal.
SECONDARY CUT: Because more than 78 players made the 36-hole cut at Torrey Pines, there was another cut after the third round and the field was trimmed from 83 to 73 players at 3 over or better.
In addition to Woods, Aaron Baddeley, who bogeyed two of his last six holes, and Camilo Villegas, who closed in 40, were also among those sent packing.
They all still get FedExCup points, though.
WELCOME BACK: There have been a couple of welcome-back moments this week, including the return of J.B. Holmes.
Holmes has been out since early last year after fracturing his left ankle in a rollerblading accident in March.
After rounds of 71-68-75, he is tied for 28th.
Also returning this week was CBS analyst Peter Kostis, who was on the course Saturday for the first time since being diagnosed with colon cancer last May.
“You find out who you’re friends are,” said Kostis, who had received thousands of texts and messages on Twitter. Phil Mickelson, Charles Barkley, Gary McCord and Ian Baker-Finch were among those who regularly reached out to the 67-year-old.