x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Tiger Woods in command at Torrey Pines as play enters fifth day

The world number two remained on course for the 75th victory of his career with a six-shot lead in the weather-delayed Farmers Insurance Open.

Tiger Woods hits off the second tee at Torrey Pines for the Farmers Insurance Open.
Tiger Woods hits off the second tee at Torrey Pines for the Farmers Insurance Open.

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

Seeking the 75th victory of his legendary career, Woods fired a three-under par 69 in a third-round that was wiped out Saturday by fog, then birdied three of the first seven holes in his fourth round before darkness halted play.

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.

Americans Nick Watney and Brandt Snedeker shared second at 11-under with Canada's Brad Fritsch fourth two shots further back. Snedeker had five holes to play. Watney had twice as many. Fritsch had 11 to finish.

"I drove it great in the morning," Woods said afterwards.

"I drove it on a string all day. I've got 11 holes to play and I've got to go out and play them well."

A victory Monday would put Woods seven shy of Sam Snead's all-time PGA title mark of 82.

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 yesterday'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.

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.

sports@thenational.ae

twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE