Ryan Palmer obviously knows his way around the North Course at Torrey Pines Golf Course www.torreypinesgolfcourse.com in La Jolla.
The 43-year-old Palmer shot 10-under-par 62 for the second time on the North and took a two-stroke lead over Brandt Snedeker heading to the third round of the Farmers Insurance Open.
“The course has changed since I did it the last time in ’06,” said Palmer, who missed tying the course record when he made his only bogey on the 18th hole. “I knew the scores would be low today and I could get a good round in. It hit a lot of good shots and got the putter rolling early.
“The South (where the last two rounds will be played) is a hard course and I’ll have to be patient on the key holes to shoot good rounds, but I’m excited for the opportunity I have on the weekend.”
Palmer, who has won four times on the PGA Tour and lost the 2018 Farmers to Jason Day of Australia in a playoff, made birdies on five of the first eight holes and added five more on the back nine while posting a 36-hole score of 10-under 134.
Snedeker, who is trying to win the Farmers for a third time, highlighted his 67 on the South Course by holing a 68-foot bunker shot for a birdie on the 15th hole.
“I love this place, the fans are great, and I’ve played well here since I was a rookie,” said Snedeker, who won the Farmers in 2012 and 2016. “I have to drive the ball in the fairway because I can’t hit it out there like some of the other guys, and I did that on the front nine but was a little inconsistent on the back.
“I’m pleased to have a chance on the weekend and I just have to keep making putts.”
J.B. Holmes, who lost the 2015 Farmers in a playoff with Day, shot 68 on the North and is three shots back in a tie for third with first-round co-leader Sebastian Cappelen of Denmark, who had a 71 on the North, Jhonattan Vegas of Venezuela, who finished at 68 on the South, and Matthew NeSmith, who wound up at 70 on the South.
Keegan Bradley, who shared the first-round lead with Cappelen, posted a 72 on the South and is four down in a tie for sixth with Beau Hossler of Rancho Santa Margarita (66, North), Patrick Reed (69, South), Zac Blair (66, North) and Harry Higgs (68, South).
Third-ranked Jon Rahm of Spain, who won the 2017 Farmer, is tied for 12th after a 71 on the South, while second-ranked Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland shot 73 on the South and is in a tie for 17th that includes 2011 Farmers champion Bubba Watson (73, North), and sixth-ranked Tiger Woods, an eight-time winner at Torrey Pines (71, South), who bounced back from a double-bogey 6 on the first hole.
“It wasn’t a very good start, obviously, but I played well in the middle of the round and made a nice birdie putt on 18,” said Woods, who can break a tie with Sam Snead for the PGA Tour record with his 83rd victory this week. “It’s a marathon, four long days, and I just hope to be there at the finish.”
Ninth-ranked Xander Schauffle of La Jolla and San Diego State shot 74-70—144 and missed the cut by one stroke in his hometown event, while defending champion and eighth-ranked Justin Rose totaled 75-70—145 to miss the weekend by two along with Phil Mickelson, another local favorite and a three-time Farmers winner, who came in at 72-73—145.
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