Palmer takes control with 62 as Tiger, McIlroy battle

By Sports Desk January 24, 2020

Ryan Palmer fired a superb 10-under 62 to take a two-stroke lead at the Farmers Insurance Open as Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy struggled to make inroads.

Palmer, the 2018 runner-up, capitalised on playing the North Course at Torrey Pines in California to move into 10 under and the outright lead.

The American made five birdies on the front nine and six in eight holes beginning at the 10th, before dropping a shot at the last.

Palmer holds a two-shot lead over Brandt Snedeker, who carded a five-under 67 on the South Course.

The eight best rounds of the day came on the North Course, with Palmer's the highlight.

Woods (71) and McIlroy played the South Course and were left in a tie for 17th at four under.

A seven-time champion of the event, Woods made a double bogey to start his round before following that up with five birdies and two bogeys.

McIlroy struggled to a one-over 73 despite being two under through 11, with bogeys at 12, 15 and 18 hurting his chances.

J.B. Holmes (69), Jhonattan Vegas (68), Sebastian Cappelen (71) and Matthew NeSmith (70) are tied for third at seven under.

Beau Hossler (66), Keegan Bradley (72), Zac Blair (66), Patrick Reed (69) and Harry Higgs (68) are a shot further back.

Jordan Spieth (70) and Jason Day (67) are among the group with Woods and McIlroy at four under, while defending champion Justin Rose (70) missed the cut after being left to rue his opening-round 75.

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    The American produced a fine finish at Club de Golf Chapultepec, birdieing four of his remaining seven holes on his way to a four-under 67 in the final round.

    Reed finished at 18 under, a shot clear of Bryson DeChambeau, who carded a six-under 65.

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    Spaniard Jon Rahm (67) and South African Erik van Rooyen (70) finished tied for third at 15 under.

    World number one Rory McIlroy could only manage a closing three-under 68 to end up fifth a further shot back.

    Overnight leader Justin Thomas struggled to a two-over 73 that saw him finish tied for sixth alongside Hideki Matsuyama (67) and Tyrrell Hatton (68).

    Thomas made three bogeys on his front nine before adding a double-bogey at the par-four 10th and dropping another shot at 13.

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    Van Rooyen had moved into contention at the halfway stage with a 62 that tied the course record – but Rahm went one better to climb to 11 under.

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    The American golfer had seven birdies in an eight-hole stretch as he lit up Club de Golf Chapultepec.

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    Birthday boy Van Rooyen, 30, tied the course record with his sizzling and flawless second round, which included nine birdies.

    Justin Thomas (66) dropped two positions to nine under as he ended the second day tied for fourth alongside Hideki Matsuyama (64).

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