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Tiger Woods leads by six at Torrey Pines but Farmers Insurance Open finish delayed by fog

Tiger hits top form to build six-shot lead at Torrey Pines but finish delayed by fog

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

02:15 GMT, 28 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

02:15 GMT, 28 January 2013

Tiger Woods remained on course for victory as the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines went into a fifth day.

After fog remarkably wiped out all but five minutes of day three's play, the third round and a large chunk of the fourth was completed today before darkness fell.

When that moment came, Woods was 17 under par with 11 holes to play, six shots clear of nearest challengers Brandt Snedeker and Nick Watney.

Can't see the Woods for the tree: Tiger hits out of the rough on the fourth hole at Torrey Pines

Can't see the Woods for the tree: Tiger hits out of the rough on the fourth hole at Torrey Pines

He's flying: Woods looks in fine form

He's flying: Woods looks in fine form

Woods was two shots clear at the start of play and extended his lead with a three-under-par third round of 69, bettered only by Australian Aaron Baddeley with 68.

The world number two began his final round four clear, having won on 39 of the 41 previous occasions he has led outright with 18 holes remaining – though the quick turnaround meant he had not changed into his trademark red shirt.

Nor did he start in typical fashion. He sent his first tee shot way left and needed a good recovery shot to set up a par, and then hit his second tee shot on to the fringe of the sixth fairway and was fortunate to have a clear shot in, though even then he needed an excellent 10-yard pitch to save par.
But he birdied the next two and gained another shot at the sixth before finishing with a par at the seventh.

Reigning champion Snedeker had spoken during Saturday's inactivity of the need to score low in today's extended play, and he certainly did so.

After also shooting 69 in the third round, Snedeker began his fourth with four birdies on the front nine and ended the day on 11 under par with five holes to play in the tournament.

Watney, the 2009 champion, could only manage 71 in his third round but was three under through eight to move in to contention on 11 under.

Head and shoulders above: World No 2 chips in for birdie on the fourth hole in San Diego

Head and shoulders above: The world No 2 chips in for birdie on the fourth hole in San Diego

Farmers Insurance Open

Click here for all the latest scores

Canada's Brad Fritsch was nine under through seven but Woods' playing partner Casey Wittenberg dropped back from that mark after bogeying the seventh, failing to get up and down from a ridiculous position near the second tee.

Luke Guthrie, Josh Teater, Steve Marino and Erik Compton were also at eight under, with six players including Englishman Ross Fisher tied on seven under.

Paul Lawrie rockets up world rankings

Lawrie leaps up world rankings as Qatar Masters victory takes Scot into top 50

Latest world rankings

1 Luke Donald
2 Rory McIlroy
3 Lee Westwood
4
Martin Kaymer
5 Steve Stricker
6 Webb Simpson
7 Jason
Day
8 Adam Scott
9 Charl Schwartzel
10 Dustin Johnson

Paul Lawrie's Qatar Masters victory has taken him from 78th to 47th in the world, while Kyle Stanley's amazing win at the Waste Management Phoenix Open lifted him from 87th to 52nd.

A week after losing a seven-shot lead on the final day at Torrey Pines – he triple-bogeyed the last hole and then lost a play-off – Stanley came from eight back with a closing 65.

The heartbreak this time belonged to Spencer Levin, who from six clear of the field crashed to a 75.

Two good: Paul Lawrie won the Qatar Masters for a second time

Two good: Paul Lawrie won the Qatar Masters for a second time

Farmers Insurance Open: Live leaderboard

Farmers Insurance leaderboard: Keep up to date with the scores

The PGA Tour is at Torrey Pines this week for the Farrmers Insurance Open.

Bubba Watson took the title last year and you can keep track of all the latest scores right here.

CLICK HERE FOR THE LIVE LEADERBOARD

Big hitter: Bubba Watson landed the top prize at Torrey Pines last year

Big hitter: Bubba Watson landed the top prize at Torrey Pines last year

Tiger Woods to break back into top 10 with Abu Dhabi victory

Resurgent Woods will break back into world's top 10 if he wins in Abu Dhabi

On track: Tiger could break back into the top 10

On track: Tiger could break back into the top 10

Tiger Woods, outside the world's top 50 early last month, will be back close to the top 10 if he wins in Abu Dhabi this week.

And it is even possible that come The Masters in April he will have the chance to regain the No 1 spot.

With an appearance fee reported to be well into seven figures, Woods has chosen the Middle East for his first tournament of the year rather than the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines.

That is the course near San Diego
where he has not just won that event five times, but also landed the
last of his 14 majors at the 2008 US Open.

The Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship is
also his first since he ended more than two years without a victory at
the Chevron World Challenge last month.

That was in a field of only 18, the highest ranked of whom at the time was number six Steve Stricker, but there were still enough points on offer to take Woods from 52nd to 21st.

He has slipped back to 25th during a six-week break, but because of the presence this week of Europe's world top four Luke Donald, Lee Westwood, Rory McIlroy and Martin Kaymer there are even more ranking points up for grabs.

Indeed, it is the second best field for a European Tour event outside majors and world championships since the rankings began in 1986.

Woods will be making his debut in the tournament, but is a two-time winner of the Dubai Desert Classic.

Last year, though, he finished 'only' 20th there, a closing 75 leaving him seven behind winner Alvaro Quiros, and was fined for spitting.

Colin Montgomerie, for one, can see Woods continuing his revival this season, predicting that he might even win two of this season's four majors.

'A Tiger victory at The Masters would be the best story for golf,' Montgomerie said.

And when asked whom he thought would be world number one at the end of the year Montgomerie went for Woods or McIlroy.

'He hasn't played that much in the last two years and so can move back up more quickly because of how the rankings work,' said the Scot.