Woods in full command at Torrey Pines

Sun Jan 27, 2013 8:33pm EST
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

SAN DIEGO (Reuters) - Tiger Woods closed in on his 75th PGA Tour victory by stretching his lead to a commanding six shots with 11 holes remaining in the final round of the fog-delayed Farmers Insurance Open on Sunday.

The former world number one, a six-times winner of the PGA Tour event at Torrey Pines, birdied three of his first seven holes to move to 17 under overall when play was suspended for the day in fading light.

Fellow American Nick Watney, winner here in 2009, was tied for second, after eight holes, with defending champion Brandt Snedeker, who had completed 13.

Burly Canadian Brad Fritsch, a PGA Tour rookie at the age of 35, was a further two strokes back at nine under after seven holes.

However, Woods was in full command at one of his favorite venues in his bid to win a third different PGA Tour event for a seventh time. He has already recorded seven victories apiece at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

His rivals are well aware of his stellar overall track record on the U.S. circuit where he has gone on to win 49 times out of 53 when holding at least a share of the 54-hole lead, including 14 of 15 in the majors.

Four strokes in front when the weather-delayed third round was completed earlier in the day, Woods did well to scramble pars on the first two holes after missing both fairways badly to the left.

As the late afternoon shadows lengthened in soft sunlight, the world number two hit a superb tee shot to 10 feet at the par-three third and rolled in the birdie putt to regain a four-shot cushion.   Continued...

U.S. golfer Tiger Woods hits from a sand trap on the 18th green during weather delayed third round play at the Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego, California, January 27, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Blake