K.J. Choi of South Korea holed a four-foot birdie putt at No. 18 to tie Scott Brown for the lead after three rounds of the Farmers Insurance Open on the South Course at Torrey Pines Golf Course in La Jolla.
The 45-year-old Choi, who has won eight times on the PGA Tour but not since his biggest victory in the 2011 Players Championship, overcame a double-bogey 6 on the seventh hole and caught Brown at 9-under 207 with three birdies on the last six holes.
Choi one-putted his last six holes.
“This course is very important on the tee shot and second shot, but more important is iron play,” said Choi, who has gone on to win all five times he has held or shared the lead in his PGA Tour career.
“Today my greens in regulation was a little bit low, but my chipping was good and the putting was good.”
Brown, whose only victory on the circuit came in the 2013 Puerto Rico Open, made five birdies on the first 13 holes and held on down the stretch for a 70.
Conditions have been good at Torrey Pines all week, but a huge storm is expected to hit the San Diego area on Sunday and officials fear the final round might carry over into Monday.
“I think it’s going to be a grind for everybody,” Brown said after playing the last five holes in 1-over. “Even par or just under-par is going to be a good score.
“I just looks like it’s going to be a tough day.”
Gary Woodland, who shared the 36-hole lead with Choi, birdied two of the last four holes to salvage a 71 and was one stroke back in a tie for third with Jimmy Walker, who birdied the last two holes to finish at 68.
Jonas Blixt of Sweden carded a 66 despite a late bogey and was two shots behind in a tie for fifth with Michael Kim of Cal, who shot 70, and John Huh of Cal State Northridge and Freddie Jacobson, also of Sweden, who both had 71s.
Dustin Johnson struggled to a 74 and was one of eight players another stroke back in a tie for ninth.
Jason Gore of Valencia and Pepperdine hit the shot of the tournament, holing his second shot from 250 yards for a double eagle on the 18th hole, the first there since John Edwards did it in 1987.
Gore wound up at 70 and was tied for 24th.