Tiger, McIlroy struggle as Palmer grabs 2-stroke lead at Torrey Pines - GulfToday

Tiger, McIlroy struggle as Palmer grabs 2-stroke lead at Torrey Pines


Ryan Palmer plays a shot from the 14th tee during the second round of the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines on Friday. Agence France-Presse

Ryan Palmer captured the lead as the big names including the defending champions Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, who is aspiring to become number one, stuttered at the Farmers Insurance Open on Friday.

Woods, who is chasing a record 83rd title, overcame a double-bogey wobble on the first hole to shoot a one-under par 71. McIlroy faded late to fire a one-over 73, leaving both on four-under 140 and six adrift of Palmer’s pace after 36 holes at Torrey Pines.

“It played a lot harder for everyone than yesterday except for Ryan -- he’s the only one who figured it out,” Woods said.

Earlier, Palmer shot 62 to take a two-stroke lead over American Brandt Snedeker, who fired 67 to remain second in the standings.

“It was one of those days where I knew the scores were low, I knew I could get a nice round in there if I could get the putter rolling and I did,” Palmer said after firing 10 birdies and a closing bogey.

Woods, a 15-time major winner and playing his first event since turning 44 last month, looks to roll back the year as he seeks his ninth victory at Torrey Pines, having won the 2008 US Open and seven US PGA titles at the same San Diego layout.

Woods is also bidding to extend his tally of career victories to 82, having won his last title in October. But he hopes suffered a major blow when he four-putted the first hole, botching two short par putts.

 “I tried to ram it in the hole and it bounced out,” Woods said. “I hit a terrible third putt.

 “I hit a lot of good shots. I’m driving the ball better, which is nice. In the middle part of the round I made those putts.”

 Second-ranked McIlroy, who returns to the top for the first time since 2015 with a victory.

 Palmer opened with back-to-back birdies, managed the trick again at the fifth and sixth holes and birdied the par-3 eighth as well to climb the leaderboard.

 On the back nine, Palmer began with back-to-back birdies, repeated the feat at 13 and 14 and closed with birdies at 16 and the par-5 17th before his bogey at 18.

 “I made a good 5-footer to save bogey. It was awesome,” Palmer said.

 “It’s a hard golf course and the patience you’re going to have to have is going to play a key role. The way I’m driving the ball gives me a lot of confidence for the weekend.”

Woods rolled a two and a half foot par putt past the cup at one and botched a comeback bogey attempt from twice as far, clinging to the cut line at 1-under.


Related articles