Patrick Rodgers scoots into share of Farmers lead with Brandt Snedeker

By The Sports Xchange
Patrick Rodgers scoots into share of Farmers lead with Brandt Snedeker
USA team member Brandt Snedeker. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

A pair of Americans sit atop the leader board at the Farmers Insurance Open after 54 holes.

Patrick Rodgers fired a 5-under 67 on Saturday to tie fellow American Brandt Snedeker, who shot a 2-under 70 under clear blue skies at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif.


"I feel very comfortable in contention. It's probably when I'm the most comfortable out here," a confident Rodgers said.

Rodgers is the latest of the Class of 2011, which includes Jordan Speith and Justin Thomas, who is looking to make his mark.

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Snedeker is vying to become the first repeat champion at the Farmers since Tiger Woods won the tournament four straight times from 2005-08.

"I definitely like my odds better than the last two times I won at this place, that's for sure," Snedeker said.

In winning the Farmers Insurance Open in 2012 and 2016, Snedeker had to overcome huge deficits to win on those occasions, but this time he'll be starting at the top.

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"So I'm in the right frame of mind, exactly where I kind of want to be in the last group here," he told reporters after his third round on Saturday. "This is obviously a tough golf course. There's a lot of guys within a couple shots of the lead so it doesn't really mean a whole lot, but this place, for whatever reason, seems to bring out my best and I am excited about the challenge (Sunday)."


Snedeker started the third round one shot behind England's Justin Rose. He got off to a strong start by birdieing Nos. 2 and 3 before settling in and recording eight straight pars. Snedeker bogeyed the par-4 No. 12, but picked up that stroke with a birdie on No. 17.

Rose, who is vying for his eighth PGA victory, struggled and fell into a tie for fifth, two strokes behind the leaders, after shooting a 1-over 73. He bogeyed No. 2, 8 and 12 and recorded only two birdies on the day.

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Rose is one of 23 players within four shots of Rodgers and Snedeker.

But the round belonged to 24-year-old Rodgers, who started the day in 11th place. The Stanford product recorded five birdies as he looks for his first tour victory.

Prior to Saturday's round, Rodgers' best position after 54 holes on the PGA Tour came at the 2015 Wells Fargo Championship, when he was tied for fourth. He ended up tied for second, marking his career-best finish.

He credited a new putter with helping him gain a share of the Farmers lead.

"I have a new putter in the bag this week. It's a cool story. It's a brand new Toulon putter by Odyssey and its named Indianapolis, which is my hometown, which is really cool, so it was a nice fit for me," Rodgers explained.


"It's a good time to change putters and it's nice to see a few go in, but I'll have to be patient (Sunday) and just trust in it."

American Tony Finau is tied with Cheng Tsung Pan of Taiwan one stroke behind the leaders at 208. Finau birdied four of his final six holes on his way to a 67.

"So many components go into winning a golf tournament," he said. "I'll enjoy this round tonight and look forward to tomorrow.

"I don't want to get ahead of myself, but I like the way I'm playing and look forward to (Sunday)."

On the heels of a 2-over 74, American Pat Perez made six birdies and one bogey in round three to get to 7-under 209 through 54 holes. Perez, who played at San Diego State and know Torrey Pines all too well, will begin the final round two strokes back.

"The course is so hard; every shot is just full stress," Perez said. "If you don't hit in the fairway, you're going to have trouble hitting the green. If you don't hit that green, it's hard to get up and down. With the speed of the green and the way the pins are, it's awesome to get a good day."


Phil Mickelson fired a 4-under 68 to get to 5 under and back into contention after shooting 71 and 72 in the first two rounds.

"Fortunately I'm within striking distance if I can get hot, but there's a lot of people between me and the lead, which means I've got to make birdies to go get them," Mickelson said. "If I can shoot something around 65, 66, you never know, it might be enough."

Playing in the final group with Rose and Snedeker, Canada's Adam Hadwin had a round to forget. He dropped 16 spots and into a tie for 18th at 5-under par after a 2-over 74.

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