Woods in Control at Torrey Pines
Max Aaron celebrates after finishing his program in the senior men's free skate program at the U.S. figure skating championships in Omaha, Neb., Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013. Aaron won his first title in a rout to jump from fourth to first, finishing with 255 points overall. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
San Diego — Due to the fog that wiped out an entire day of golf, the Farmers Insurance Open was never going to end yesterday.
Tiger Woods just made it look as if it was over.
Hands thrust in the pockets of his rain pants, Woods walked off Torrey Pines in the chill of twilight with a six-shot lead and only 11 more holes standing in the way of winning on the public course along the Pacific Ocean for the eighth time in his pro career.
He drove the ball with superb control in the third round on his way to a 3-under 69 to build a four-shot lead after three rounds. He lost control with his driver in the fourth round and still managed three birdies in seven holes.
“All we can do tomorrow is go out and try to make him think about it a little bit and see what happens,” said Nick Watney, one of two former winners at Torrey Pines who faced the tough task of trying to make up six shots on Woods.
The other was defending champion Brandt Snedeker. “I’ve got a guy at the top of the leaderboard that doesn’t like giving up leads,” Snedeker said. “So I have to go catch him.”
Woods was at 17-under par for the tournament and will resume his round on the par-3 eighth hole. CBS Sports wants to televise the finish — no surprise with Woods in the lead — so play won’t start until 2 p.m. EST.
U.S. Open to Return
To Winged Foot
The U.S. Open is returning to Winged Foot, the New York club with a history of clutch moments and one unforgettable collapse.
The U.S. Golf Association will announce today that the West Course at Winged Foot will host the 2020 U.S. Open. Only two other courses — Oakmont and Baltusrol — will have held the national championship more times.
Winged Foot was designed by A.W. Tillinghast in 1923 and hosted its first U.S. Open six years later, when amateur Bobby Jones delivered one of the biggest shots in championship history with a 12-foot putt on the final hole to force a 36-hole playoff. He won the next day by 23 shots over Al Espinosa.
The most recent trip to Winged Foot was memorable for all the wrong reasons — not for Geoff Ogilvy winning with a superb up-and-down from below the 18th green, but for Phil Mickelson blowing his best chance ever to win the U.S. Open.
Aaron a Surprise Champ
Omaha, Neb. — Max Aaron sure knows how to shake things up, jumping from fourth to first at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships yesterday.
It was the first title for the 20-year-old, who has done very little of note since winning the U.S. junior title two years ago. But if he keeps this up, there’s sure to be more success in store. Aaron finished with 255 points, almost four better than Ross Miner. When Aaron saw his marks, his mouth dropped open and he let out a roar.
Jeremy Abbott, who had won three of the last four U.S. titles, dropped to third with a flawed free skate.
Israeli Fans Detained
For Anti-Muslim Slogans
Jerusalem — Israeli police have arrested three soccer fans for chanting anti-Muslim slogans at a game while protesting the Beitar Jerusalem team’s intention to sign two Muslim players.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld says two suspects were fined and banned from the stadium for the rest of the season. The additional suspect was scheduled to appear in court yesterday.
Fans unfurled signs alluding to the team’s unofficial tradition of not signing Arab or Muslim players. Beitar fans have been punished in the past for similar behavior.
More Health Concerns
For Injured Snowmobiler
Aspen, Colo. — Snowmobile rider Caleb Moore has had a “secondary complication involving his brain” after a crash at the Winter X Games led to bleeding around his heart.
The Moore family released a statement yesterday, but provided no further details, only the rider “continues to be monitored in ICU.”
The 25-year-old was performing a flip Thursday when he clipped the top of a jump. He went over the handlebars and the heavy sled rolled over him. He walked off the course with help and transported to a hospital with a concussion.
Fan Hurt at Winter X
Aspen, Colo. — A young fan was hurt when a runaway snowmobile veered into the crowd at Winter X after the rider fell off during a jump gone wrong.
The teenager was transported to a hospital last night with a right knee injury. It’s not clear whether he was hurt getting out of the way or was hit by the sled.
Snowmobiler Jackson Strong tumbled off the snowmobile during the best trick competition. He and his sled landed hard on the snow. The throttle stuck on the 450-pound machine and it went straight toward the crowd — fans scurrying out of the way. The snowmobile came to a rest when it got tangled up in the retaining fence.
Jeremy Bester, of Prior Lake, Minn., quickly applied the brakes to keep it from moving.