Tiger Woods On Cruise Control At Torrey Pines

By Les Bailey
Tiger Woods
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

With 11 holes yet to play at The Torrey Pines South Course, I’m not ready to give Tiger Woods his seventh Farmers Insurance Open Championship, but with a six shot lead going into Monday, I might consider getting it prepared for him. With very little close opposition for most of the Sunday marathon, I was pleased to see a couple of recognizable names come up the leaderboard to put a little pressure on the world’s number two player.

Both Nick Watney, and Brandt Snedeker had good rounds going, and had Watney not had his usual trouble with the back nine, would have been close enough to cause some concern by the time the sun was setting in the Pacific Ocean. Watney and Snedeker are the only two left that have the pedigree to put up a challenge. Had I been the Ryder Cup Captain(they didn’t ask me) these two players would have been on Team USA, and we would have won at Medinah.

Tiger Woods got off to a good start on Sunday, with birdies at the second and third holes, but began struggling with his driver. He finished the third round with a -3 under par 69, and was able to shed his playing partners, Billy Horchel, and Casey Wittenburg, but the tournament tested Watney, and Snedeker don’t seem to want to go quietly and let Tiger have that seventh trophy.

Before play was called after seven hole through the fourth round, Woods continued to struggle with the big stick, but is by far one of the game’s best scramblers since the days of Seve Ballesteros. Tiger picked up three birdies before play was suspended, and is three under par on his final round. Unfortunately for Watney and Snedeker, this gave Tiger time to go to the driving range and figure out the driver before play begins on Monday afternoon.

Tiger Woods continues to have good wedge play, and is leaving himself plenty of birdie opportunities. He appears to be on cruise control.

The television coverage was despicable at times. Until CBS took over at 3:00 PM Eastern, we were only seeing Tiger Woods, and an occasional Phil Mickelson shot. One would have thought no one else was playing golf. When CBS started their coverage we finally were able to get a glimpse of the other competitors.

I’m not sure when we sill see Tiger Woods again after this tournament, but his website doesn’t have him playing in any events until the Masters. I think for him to return to the worlds number one player, he needs to compete more. The hype and excitement he brings to golf is phenomenal. Rory McIlroy is going to have to pick up his pace if he wants to replace Tiger Woods as the sport’s Icon. I don’t think the youngster from Northern Ireland has either the game or charisma to replace the legend that is Tiger Woods.

Just so you know what’s going on here, tournament officials were going to have a secondary cut to 72 players after the the third round, and re-pair the players after the fog cancelled Saturday play. But because a bunch of the players on the leaderboard are Monday qualifiers, and need to get to Phoenix for next weeks tournament, they decided against the cut, and let all 87 players finish on Monday afternoon. There was no re-pairing for the fourth round which was started late on Sunday, and will be completed on Monday.

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