Rose in driver's seat, Scott lurks at Torrey Pines

Justin Rose tied the 54-hole tournament record at 18 under, despite a few slip-ups.
Justin Rose tied the 54-hole tournament record at 18 under, despite a few slip-ups.

LOS ANGELES • World No. 1 Justin Rose shook off two double-bogeys to card a three-under 69 on Saturday and maintain a three-shot lead in the US PGA Tour's Farmers Insurance Open.

Six birdies and an eagle on the South Course at Torrey Pines saw Englishman Rose maintain his grip on the tournament with an 18-under total of 198.

"I'm playing well and just need to keep producing," said Rose, whose 20 birdies the last few days are the most in the field.

"It would be a great way to start 2019."

Rose was three strokes clear of Australian Adam Scott, who had seven birdies and an eagle in his 65 for a 15-under total of 201.

First-round leader Jon Rahm of Spain was alone in third on 202 after a 68.

Rose led by as many as six strokes, but his second double-bogey of the day, at the par-four 14th, trimmed the lead and he closed with a bogey at the par-five 18th, where his second shot from the left rough found the water.

Even with the slip-ups, Rose tied the 54-hole tournament record at 18 under.

Scott's 65 was the low round of the day and put him within striking distance in his first appearance at Torrey Pines since the 2008 US Open. "It's a tough golf course but, if you ball strike it, you can actually shoot a good score," said Scott, the 2013 Masters champion.

Tiger Woods, whose eight wins at Torrey Pines include the most recent of his 14 Major titles at the 2008 US Open, is just looking to finish on a high note.

He failed to gain any ground with a 71 that left him 13 shots off the pace.

Woods said he drove it well, but needed to improve his iron play and get some putts to drop to make his goal of reaching double-digits under par yesterday, which would give him "something positive" to take into the rest of this year.

"I've got to play a little bit better than I have," said the former world No. 1, who added that he needs to "drive it like I did today and hit my irons a little bit better and give myself plenty of looks".

"It's frustrating because I'm hitting a lot of good putts and they're just not going in."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 28, 2019, with the headline 'Rose in driver's seat, Scott lurks at Torrey Pines'. Print Edition | Subscribe