Justin Rose tracked the flight of his 3-wood until he saw it splash into the pond guarding the 18th green at Torrey Pines. He walked a few steps and pulled his cap down over his eyes, the look of a man who had just made a crucial mistake at the wrong time.
Not really. This was only Saturday.
The No. 1 player in the world wasn’t happy that he finished up the third round with a bogey at the PGA Tour’s Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego, but it didn’t take away from a game so strong that having his lead cut in half over the closing five holes was no cause for alarm.
Even with three penalty shots on the day, Rose still managed a 3-under-par 69 and a three-shot lead, the same margin with which he began the day.
Adam Scott had the low round of the week on the South course with a 65, which pulled him within three shots and it still felt like a consolation.
“As good as I’m playing, I feel like I’m a long way behind,” Scott said.
Rose had six birdies and an eagle that more than atoned for his mistakes. Even with two double bogeys and the bogey on the par-5 18th, he still matched the 54-hole tournament record at 18-under 198, last achieved by Tiger Woods in 2008.
Jon Rahm had a 68 and was four shots behind, followed by 22-year-old Doug Ghim, a former No. 1 amateur playing on a sponsor’s exemption. Ghim shot a 67.
Woods had the biggest gallery and didn’t make much noise. He birdied three of his last five holes to salvage a 71, leaving him 13 shots behind and in search of moral victories in his 2019 debut. He was at 5-under 211.
“I think if I can get to double digits (under par), it would be just a nice way to end the week,” Woods said. “I’ve got to play a little better than I have.”
European Tour: American Bryson DeChambeau leads the Dubai Desert Classic after three rounds and is closing in on his first victory overseas after his 4-under 68 for a 16-under 200 and a one-shot lead over defending champion Li Haotong of China.
Two shots further back are Ernie Els (70), a three-time champion here, and Matt Wallace (69), a three-time winner on tour last year.
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sports/golf/article/No-1-Justin-Rose-settles-for-3-shot-lead-at-13564806.php.