Late troubles leave Rose three ahead of Scott at Torrey Pines

(Reuters) – Justin Rose opened the door to his rivals with a bogey at the par-five 18th which cut his lead to three strokes over Adam Scott in the third round at the Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego on Saturday.

Jan 26, 2019; San Diego, CA, USA; Justin Rose plays his second shot on the 18th hole during the third round of the Farmers Insurance Open golf tournament at Torrey Pines Municipal Golf Course – South Course. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Rose also recorded two double-bogeys but did enough right to card three-under-par 69 and end the day with the same lead as he started at Torrey Pines.

He posted an 18-under 198 total, while Australian Scott, helped by a 100-yard eagle at the par-four second, raced to the turn in 30 shots on his way to a 65.

Scott birdied the last to move into second at 15 under, with 2017 champion Jon Rahm of Spain another stroke behind after a 68.

Leader Rose ran in a series of mid-length putts, few better than a 20-footer from the fringe for eagle at the par-five ninth.

“Three sixes on the card, I played great golf today,” Rose told Golf Channel.

“I was maybe close to shooting 63. When I messed up I messed up big, but I’m pleased with the way I responded to the doubles. I was happy with the way I played.”

The world number one threatened to turn the event into a one-man exhibition, going six ahead at one stage, before he pulled his 160-yard approach shot into a penalty area at the par-four 14th and gave back two shots.

At the 18th, Rose considered laying up from the light first cut of rough but in the end had a crack at the green with a fairway metal.

However, his ball came out heavy and found the pond guarding the putting surface.

“Out of the first cut it was probably a little risky,” he said.

Second-placed Scott, making his first appearance in the event a strong one, has long had a great swing and this week he is putting well too with a new grip.

“I did a pretty good job of it all today,” he said of his overall game.

“Sixty-five around the south course, I don’t care what the conditions are, it’s a good score.

“You’ve got to be very happy. I just didn’t make up enough ground on the leader. I’m still lagging way behind.”

He was speaking before Rose’s bogey at the last.

Third-placed Rahm warned not to expect a repeat of his charge to victory in 2017, when he played the final nine holes in 30.

“The fact I shot six under a couple of years ago, it’s a borderline miracle,” he said.

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“It’s very hard to do that again. The back nine is no joke.”

Tiger Woods started with two bogeys in the first three holes and battled to a 71 that left him 13 shots behind on the course where he won the 2008 U.S. Open.

That was his 14th major title, a number he has not added to in the ensuing decade.

Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; editing by Clare Fallon

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