Saturday's Golf Capsules
Sunday, January 29, 2012
Woods tied for lead
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Tiger Woods put himself in position to win his second straight tournament Saturday, and this one would leave little doubt about which direction his game is going.
He finally won two months ago against an 18-man field in California.
On Saturday, against the strongest field golf has seen in at least three months, Woods shot a 6-under 66 for a share of the lead with Robert Rock going into the final round of the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship.
Woods has a 55-8 record worldwide when he has at least a share of the lead going into the final round, and a win would be the first time since August 2009 that he has won consecutive starts.
There wasn’t a lot of fist-pumping from Woods, who traded drama for consistency, racking up six birdies in a bogey-free round. It was a memorable performance by the American, mostly for his ability to hit fairways, tame the par 5s and sink clutch putts — including a 6-footer for birdie on the final hole.
Woods finished at 11-under 205. Rock, at No. 117 in the world, birdied his final two holes for a 66 to join Woods in the last group along with Peter Hanson, who had a 64 and was two shots behind.
Also two back at 9-under 207 were Rory McIlroy, who played with Woods for the third straight day and had a 68, Francesco Molinari (66) and Paul Lawrie (68).
Stanley grabs top spot in San Diego
SAN DIEGO — Kyle Stanley overpowered Torrey Pines to open a five-shot lead in the Farmers Insurance Open.
About the only regret for Stanley was missing a 4-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole that would have broken the 54-hole tournament record set by Tiger Woods in 1998, before Rees Jones beefed up the South Course for the 2008 U.S. Open. Stanley still managed a 4-under 68, a spot alongside Woods in the record book at 18-under 198 and great position for his first victory.
The performance looked familiar, even if the name didn’t.
Woods, playing this week in Abu Dhabi, is a seven-time winner at Torrey Pines as a pro, including that U.S. Open. He used his length on the South Course, especially on the par 5s, and holed his share of putts.
That’s been the recipe for Stanley, who has a slight build and enormous speed. He build a three-shot lead with a birdie on the second hole and was never really challenged on another glorious days along the Pacific bluffs. His lone bogey came on the 12th, when he went just over the green, chipped to 6 feet and missed the putt. On the 526-yard 13th hole, he blasted a tee shot so far down the hill that Stanley had only a soft 7-iron into the green, putting it 15 feet below the hole on the fringe for a two-putt birdie.
John Huh, a 21-year-old rookie who spent three years on the Korean Tour, and John Rollins each had 68 and were at 13-under 203. FedEx Cup champion Bill Haas (70) and Bae (72) were another shot behind.