SAN DIEGO – Everything became perfectly clear Sunday at Torrey Pines. Tiger Woods was on his game and headed toward yet another win.
Woods seized control of the fog-delayed Farmers Insurance Open with a strong driving performance that carried him to a 3-under 69 and a four-shot lead after the third round. Even when he got wild off the tee late in chilly afternoon of the fourth round, he still made birdies to stretch his lead to six shots when play was suspended by darkness.
Woods has 11 holes left to play when the round resumes today.
It was a long day ... and I played well today, Woods said. Overall, I’m very pleased that I was able to build on my lead.
Thick fog washed out all of Saturday, forcing players to go from sunrise to sunset Sunday. They finished the third round, took about 30 minutes for lunch and went right back onto the golf course. CBS Sports wants to televise the conclusion, so the round will not resume until 2 p.m. EST.
Woods was at 17-under par for the tournament.
Defending champion Brandt Snedeker was 4 under through 13 holes of the final round, and he was not making up much ground on Woods. Snedeker was at 11 under, along with Nick Watney, who was through eight holes.
Woods finished 54 holes at 14-under 202 and was four shots ahead of Canadian rookie Brad Fritsch. It was the 16th time in his PGA Tour career that Woods had a 54-hole lead of at least four shots.
If that wasn’t enough to make the outcome look inevitable, everything was going his way in the final hour.
His tee shot on No. 2 that the ball finished in the first cut of rough in the sixth fairway. He still saved par. Woods made a birdie putt of about 10 feet on No. 3, and then wound up well right of the cart path and blocked by a tree on the fourth hole. He carved a punch shot around the tree, safely in front of the green, and his chip banged into the pin and dropped for birdie.
Two holes later, from a mangled lie in the right rough, he smashed a 5-wood that ran onto the green and set up a two-putt birdie.
Snedeker was seven shots behind after three rounds, the same deficit he faced a year ago. Only now he’s trying to chase down Woods. Woods is 38-2 on the PGA Tour when he has the outright lead going into the last round.
I’ve got to make some more birdies, Snedeker said. I’ve got a long way to go. I’ve got a guy at the top of the leader board that doesn’t like giving up leads, so I have to go catch him. I did a great job today of staying patient and playing good golf.
Woods didn’t bother wearing red Sunday, knowing the tournament wouldn’t end until the next day.
In some respects, though, it had the feeling of being over. Fritsch birdied the last hole of the third round for a 70 to finish on 206. Erik Compton finished birdie-eagle for a 71 and was alone in third through 54 holes, five shots behind. When someone asked him about chasing Woods, Compton started laughing.
I’m trying to chase myself, he said.