\Gary Woodland hits out of the rough on the 15th hole during the third round of the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines South in La Jolla, California.
LA JOLLA: On a day when Tiger Woods’s woes were the talk of Torrey Pines, Gary Woodland kept mistakes to a minimum to take the Farmers Insurance Open third-round lead.
World number one Woods — whose eight triumphs at Torrey Pines include seven titles in this US PGA Tour event and the 2008 US Open — staggered to third-round 79 that saw him notch a dubious career first in missing the secondary cut.
Woods’s round included back-to-back double-bogeys at the 18th and first holes, followed by five straight bogeys from the second through sixth holes.
His six-over total of 222 left him 14 shots behind Woodland, who overcame a bogey and a double-bogey of his own to post a two-under 70 for a 54-hole total of eight-under 208. Woodland was one stroke in front of Australian Marc Leishman, who posted an even-par 72, and overnight leader Jordan Spieth who carded a 75 to join Leishman on 209.
Pat Perez and Morgan Hoffman were tied on 210, both Americans posting even par 72s.
A group of seven players on 211 included Argentina’s Andres Romero, whose 67 was the lowest round of the day. Japan’s Ryo Ishikawa and South African Rory Sabbatini joined that group with 69s, while Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts, who started the day in third place, ended up in the group at five-under after a three-over 75.
American Stewart Cink, who began the round one stroke behind Spieth, carded a 79 that left him tied for 27th.
But it was Woods’s woes on a course playing hard and fast in the absence of the damp weather usual for the Southern California coast in January that made the most news.
“It was definitely different seeing him making so many bogeys,” said playing partner Jhonattan Vegas. “You don’t expect to see that out of him.”
Never before has Woods missed a secondary cut — made after the third round in US PGA Tour events when the halfway cut yields an excessive weekend field.
Only the top 70 and ties advanced to Sunday’s final round, and Woods was tied for 80th.
Despite balmy temperatures and little wind, only 18 players broke par.
Woodland had five birdies to counter his bogey at the par-four 15th and a double-bogey at the par-four 17th.
Leishman was admirably steady with one birdie and one bogey in his 72. “It was a bit tougher out there today,” Leishman said. “The greens firmed up, got quicker, it was had to roll in those putts.”
Spieth played his first five holes in four-over, including a double-bogey at the par-four fifth. He was delighted to find himself just one off the lead going into the final round.
“The par-fives were gettable, you just had to be in the fairway,” he said. “I guess a lot of people were struggling to hit the fairways today, including myself. I think I only hit three of them. That’s not going to work tomorrow.”
American Phil Mickelson was a notable absentee on Saturday. After making the cut despite a sore back, he opted to withdraw Friday. He’s due to defend his title at the Phoenix Open next week.AFP