English, Holmes share Farmers lead
SAN DIEGO — Two poor chips wound up costing Harris English three shots. He battled just to get birdie chances on the South Course at Torrey Pines and only converted two of them. He wound up with a 1-over 73 and a share of the lead with J.B. Holmes on Saturday in the Farmers Insurance Open.
And he was pleased with his performance. The previous three tournaments he played this year, a 73 would have sent English spiraling down the leaderboard. Not this week.
Holmes birdied all but one of the par 5s and escaped with bogey on his one big miss in the third round. He had a 68 to match the low score of the round and join English on top of a very crowded leaderboard going into the final round.
A dozen players were separated by two shots, and all but three of those players have won on the PGA Tour. Two of them, Jimmy Walker and Bill Haas, have won in the last month. Considering this is the South Course at Torrey Pines, Sunday might be more about survival than shootout.
English led by as many as three shots early in the third round until his streak of 39 holes at par or better ended with a double bogey on No. 4 when his chip ran to the upper tier of the green. He lost the lead again late in his round with a poor chip on the 16th.
English and Holmes were at 9-under 207 with a host of contenders behind them.
The South Course hosted the 2008 U.S. Open — and gets another U.S. Open in six years — and while the setup isn't the same, it's not far off. The rough is so thick that when Jhonattan Vegas, two shots behind after a 73, missed the fairway by a few feet, he had to stoop over just to see his golf ball.
ALLIANZ CHAMPIONSHIP: At Boca Raton, Fla., Bart Bryant holed out with a 6-iron from 195 yards on the par-5 18th hole for the first double eagle on the Champions Tour since 2010, giving him a share of the second-round lead in the Allianz Championship at Broken Sound.
Bryant had bogeyed four of his previous seven holes to fall off the pace before his second shot at the 509-yard 18th hole landed on the front of the green and rolled into the hole for his first albatross.
Bryant finished with a 3-under 69 to join Paul Goydos, Tom Pernice Jr. and Canada's Rod Spittle atop the leaderboard at 9-under 135. Spittle had a 66, and Goydos and Pernice shot 69.
BAHAMAS LPGA CLASSIC: At Paradise Island, Bahamas, Gerina Piller topped the leaderboard at 10 under when third-round play in the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic was suspended because of darkness.
Piller was 3 under for the round with nine holes left on Atlantis Resort's Ocean Club course. She made 40-foot birdie putts on Nos. 3 and 4.
Lexi Thompson was a stroke back along with Sandra Gal, Brooke Pancake, Kelly Shon, Sei Young Kim and Perrine Delacour. Thompson was 7 under for the round with two holes left. Gal had nine holes to go, Pancake 11, Shon eight, Kim 11, and Delacour six.