SAN DIEGO — Tiger Woods was right. The South Course at Torrey Pines is playing about as tough as it did for the U.S. Open in 2008.
But that’s the only similarity.
Woods won that U.S. Open. He won’t even have a tee time in the final round at the Farmers Insurance Open.
Gary Woodland used power to his advantage Saturday — oddly enough, everywhere but on the par 5s — to pick up five birdies in his round of 2-under 70 that gave him a one-shot lead over Jordan Spieth and Marc Leishman going into a final day that won’t include Woods.
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Instead of getting back into the tournament, the defending champion and eight-time winner at Torrey Pines delivered a shocking performance. Woods went seven straight holes making bogey or worse and wound up with a 79, matching his worst score on American soil.
Woods left town without speaking to reporters and with an “MDF” next to his name, which probably should have been “OMG.”
That’s the PGA Tour’s acronym for “made the cut, did not finish.” Because more than 78 players advanced to the weekend, there was a 54-hole cut for top 70 and ties. Only one other player, club pro Michael Block, had a worse score than Woods.
“You get going south on this golf course, you can definitely put up some numbers in a hurry,” Woodland said when he heard about Woods’ score. “I don’t think he’s too concerned about it.”
There’s plenty for everyone to be concerned about at Torrey Pines — a beast of a course, thick rough, rock-hard greens, and nearly two dozen players so close to the lead that Sunday could be wide open.
Woodland was at 8-under 208. It was the highest 54-hole score to lead this tournament since Dave Rummells at 4-under 212 in 1993.
Spieth had a one-shot lead to start the third round and it was gone quickly. He missed a 30-inch par putt on the opening hole and took a double bogey on No. 5. His biggest putt might have been a 6-footer for par on the 14th, and Spieth looked confident the rest of the way to salvage a 75.
Chris Williams, a former UW player, shot a 71 and moved into a tie for 38th and was seven shots off the lead. Williams was the top-ranked amateur in the world before turning pro last summer, and this is the third PGA Tour cut he has made.
• Na Yeon Choi shot a 7-under 66 to take a one-stroke lead in the season-opening Bahamas LPGA Classic at Paradise Island.
Choi, a seven-time winner on the LPGA Tour, birdied three of the last four holes in her bogey-free round to reach 15 under. Lizette Salas was a stroke back. She also had a bogey-free 66.
Michelle Wie and 16-year-old Lydia Ko were in a group at 10 under.
• Sergio Garcia birdied the third extra hole to beat Mikko Ilonen in a playoff and win the Qatar Masters for his second victory in three events.
|The 5 worst scores in Tiger Woods’ career|
|The five times that Tiger Woods has shot 79 or worse in his professional career with tournament, course, round and result:|
|81||2002 British Open, Muirfield, third round, tie for 28th|
|79||2014 Farmers Insurance Open, Torrey Pines (South), third round, missed 54-hole cut|
|79||2013 Memorial Tournament, Muirfield Village, third round, tie for 65th|
|79||2010 Quail Hollow Championship, Quail Hollow, second round, missed 36-hole cut|
|79||1996 Australian Open, The Australian, first round, tie for fifth|