Justin Rose threatened to put a stranglehold on the Farmers Insurance Open by shooting 3-under-par 69 in the third round Saturday at Torrey Pines Golf Club in San Diego.
Rose, the world’s No. 1 player, will carry a three-stroke lead into Sunday’s final round on the South course. The Englishman is at 18-under 198 for the tournament.
Australia’s Adam Scott used a 65 to move into second place at 15 under.
Rose entered the weekend after tying the tournament’s 36-hole record, and he kept pace by tying the 54-hole record Saturday. His lead would be even more commanding if not for a few major errors.
He had a double-bogey on No. 4 after hitting his approach way left, but he got that back with an eagle on the ninth hole, draining a 20-footer from the fringe. Rose also had a double-bogey on No. 14, again hitting left and taking a penalty. But his rash of birdies was enough to maintain a steady lead, particularly when he got a stroke back on the par-3 16th.
Rose also took a bogey on the final hole after finding the water while trying to reach the par-5 green in two, taking his third penalty stroke of the round.
“It’s always tough to start my season here at Torrey Pines,” Rose told reporters afterward. “But the way I am striking the ball, I have confidence that I can attack a really difficult golf course.”
Scott got off to a blistering start, opening with a birdie before holing out from 103 yards at the par-4 second for an eagle. After a bogey at No. 4, he birdies four of the final five holes on the front nine to go out in 30, then cooled down on the back nine with a 35.
First-round leader Jon Rahm of Spain sits third after shooting 68. He’s at 14 under after a range of rounds, recovering from Friday’s 72.
Doug Ghim (67) made a move to fourth place, sitting at 13 under. He had birdies on three of the last six holes.
Ghim, 22, was the low amateur in last year’s Masters. He’s in this week’s tournament on a sponsor invitation.
Talor Gooch (67), like Rose, has posted three rounds at 69 or better. He’s in fifth place at 12 under, in front of a group of five players at 11 under that includes Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy.
Tiger Woods shot 71 with an inconsistent round that included four birdies and three bogeys. He finished on the front side with three birdies across the final five holes.
Woods, who’s making his 2019 debut in this event, is at 5 under for the tournament. He managed just one birdie on the back nine Saturday.
“It’s frustrating because I’m hitting a lot of good putts and they’re just not going in,” Woods said.
Still, he left himself too many long putts by lacking crispness with his irons.
“I just didn’t quite have it with my iron game again,” Woods said.
Defending champion Jason Day of Australia will need a huge rally to repeat. He shot 69 on Saturday and sits at 9 under, though that’s just two strokes out of the top 10.
–Field Level Media