Published: Tue, January 29, 2019
Sport | By Patty Hardy

Justin Rose keeps blossoming, leads Farmers Open by 3 strokes

Justin Rose keeps blossoming, leads Farmers Open by 3 strokes

World number one Justin Rose shook off two double bogeys to card a three-under par 69 on Saturday and maintain a three-shot lead in the US PGA Farmers Insurance Open.

Meanwhile, Japanese star Hideki Matsuyama (67) and Talor Gooch (68) tied third at 16 under, while Australia's defending champion Jason Day (67) shared fifth alongside Rory McIlroy (69) and 2017 champion Jon Rahm (72) at 14 under. But all of the theatrics came while the tournament leaders were busy on the other side of the golf course, as Woods' efforts to get to 10 under still left him well behind Justin Rose and the other contenders. Given how volatile this course is and how elite this field is, though, anything can (and probably will) happen coming home on Sunday afternoon.

Woods enjoyed a fine season a year ago, winning his first tournament since August 2013 at the Tour Championship in September. Scott pulled within two by hitting his approach to a foot on the 17th.

Tiger Woods closed with a 67 to tie for 20th at 10 under in his 2018 debut.

Scott said he would not be thinking about winning overnight, not with Rose the player he is chasing.

"I think if I can get to double digits (under par), it would be just a nice way to end the week", Woods said.

"I feel like I knocked some rust off, which was great this week", Woods said.

On the 570-yard par-5 18th hole, Rahm reached the green in 3 and sunk a 10-foot putt for birdie. He tied for 23rd a year ago.

Rose dedicated the victory to his caddie, Mark Fulcher, who had a heart procedure last week and was watching from home. He added four birdies in a five-hole stretch at the turn and delivered the low round of the tournament on the South course.

He got up-and-down from delicate spots to save par on the 13th and 14th hole, and made an 8-foot par putt on No. 15 with Scott in tight for birdie, keeping the lead at three shots. Rose used Gareth Lord, who previously caddied for Henrik Stenson and knows Rose well from Ryder Cup partnerships.

Rose's $US1.28 million victory took him past $US50 million in career earnings on the PGA Tour, in sixth place on the alltime list, while Scott also achieved that milestone and is seventh after collecting $US766,800.

"It's always tough to start my season here at Torrey Pines", Rose said. Now it's Rose, the No. 1 player in the world looking as though he might stay there for a while.

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