Recap of the day
Would we witness any drama from Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy or Hideki Matsuyama? All three had something to prove … and still do as they achieved little of note on Moving Day. Instead the early stars were Talor Gooch and Doug Ghim, whose 67s got them into the top five.
At the head of the scoring Adam Scott thrashed a brilliant front nine of 30 and held on to complete a 65 which gives him an outside chance on Sunday. Jon Rahm could not match it but his 68 gives him a small squeak of a second course win. But Justin Rose remains three shots clear, some effort given that he had to scratch three sixes on his card.
Low round of the day: Scott’s 65
Revised outright betting: 4/9 Rose, Rahm 11/2, Scott 6/1, McIlroy 40/1, Ghim 50/1
Sunday weather forecast
Much as Saturday was, but less wind (8 mph): sunny with occasional cloud cover, temperatures in the mid 60s.
Leaders after at 54 holes
Justin Rose (69, 198) – A rum mixture of the sublime and ridiculous. It’s certainly not often that a World No. 1 has three sixes (two double bogeys, one bogey) in one lap, much less that he does so and maintains a three shot lead. Six birdies and an eagle-3 atoned for all the errors.
Adam Scott (65, 201) – Made a dazzling start (birdie-3, eagle-2) and despite two bogeys threw in so many birdies (six) he never lost the momentum.
Jon Rahm (68, 202) – Missed just two fairways, but labored after a five birdie front nine. In fact, but for an 18th hole birdie, he’d have played the back nine in 1-over.
Doug Ghim (67, 203) – Dropped a shot on each nine, but pounded four front nine birdies and three on the way home. Totalled 4.365 SG: Putting.
Talor Gooch (67, 204) – Opened birdie-double bogey-bogey, added five pars and then flew home with an eagle-3 at the ninth and five back nine birdies.
Fate of the Favourites
Jon Rahm – see above
Justin Rose – see above
Rory McIlroy (69, 205) – Found more greens (14 of 18) than in his previous rounds this week, but couldn’t pound the birdies he needed to mount a challenge.
Tiger Woods (71, 211) – Not the Saturday he will have hoped for and yet he found more fairways (10) and more greens (14) than in either the first or second rounds. Made too many bogeys (three).
Tiger Woods (71): "I think if I can get to double digits under par it would be nice, just a nice way to end the week. I’ve got play a little bit better than I have, and if I can 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."
Nick Faldo (on Woods): "He’s just looking to get the rust off."
Road to Victory at Torrey Pines
2018 Jason Day – R1: 113th, R2: 6th, R3: 5th
2017 Jon Rahm – R1: 77th, R2: 21st, R3: 13th
2016 Brandt Snedeker – R1: 90th, R2: 57th, R3: 27th
2015 Jason Day – R1: 95th, R2: 6th, R3: 8th
2014 Scott Stallings – R1: 63rd, R2: 11th, R3: 6th
Notes: In addition to all of the above five making a late run up the leaderboard they all also overcame some pretty large deficits: three, five, six, two and three shots in fact. Moreover when Snedeker won in 2012 he made up seven blows.
Fate of the 54-hole Leaders at Torrey Pines – where did they finish?
2018 – Alex Noren 2nd
2014 – Gary Woodland 10th
Notes: As noted last night, 36-hole leaders have a problem closing in this event and 54-hole leaders are little better. In all 26 men have held or shared the lead a third round lead here in the 21st century and only Tiger Woods (three times), Phil Mickelson and John Daly (once each) have lifted the trophy.
Focus on – Justin Rose with a lead
As with yesterday’s 36-hole advantages we’ve established that 54-hole leaders don’t have the best record on the course, but what of Rose in this situation? He’s has 14 solo leads on the major tours at this point in a tournament and has eight wins. What of big leads? He’s 1-for-2 when two shots to the good, 1-for-3 with a gap of three and 5-for-5 with four shots on the field. Note that of the latter only once (in Japan) did he extend that lead. On the European and PGA Tours the lead dwindled before he sealed the deal.
Focus on – Adam Scott chasing
The Aussie has been second heading into the final lap on major tours 17 times and he’s claimed the win on three occasions. In all he has six times been three swings back of the lead and he has two wins (2007 Houston Open, 2016 Cadillac Championship). Two final observations. The first is that although he’s claimed just those three wins, two of them have come in his last three chances. And secondly 13 of 17 times he started the final round in second he finished in the top three.
Focus on – Jon Rahm chasing
A sixth time that the Spaniard has found himself third heading into the final lap and he has one win (the 2018 Open de Espana). What of being four back? That’s happened six times and he’s yet to win. One of those was in this tournament last year when he closed with a 77 for T29. (Also note: Doug Ghim is in rare territory but Talor Gooch? His win in the Web.com Tour’s Sentinel Open in 2017 came from five shots back.)