Farmers Insruance Open Notes: Jason Gore has a double eagle on a day of hole-outs
A rules official approached Jason Gore about slow play as the golfer walked to his drive on the South Course’s 18th fairway in Saturday’s third round of the Farmers Insurance Open.
“Steve Rintoul came up and put us on the clock,” said Gore, who was 251 yards out on the 570-yard, par-five.
Gore promptly holed out for the first double eagle of his career and second ever on the hole in the tournament.
“I just wanted to save time,” Gore joked after a two-under 70 placed him five strokes off the third-round lead. “I guess I’m a slow putter and decided not to putt.”
Gore’s shot landed midgreen and tracked to the back pin.
Part of the credit belongs to Scott Gardiner, Gore’s caddie.
“I had two-iron out and Scotty talked me into hitting three-wood,” Gore said. “He said, ‘Just a nice big cut three-wood,’ and he was right. ... We could see it. Once it hit the green and started rolling up the hill, I’m thinking, ‘Oh, this is going to be really close,’ and then just saw it kind of disappear. And it was pretty fun.”
Gore slapped hands with his playing partners as the crowd in the grandstands surrounding the 18th hole cheered. The Los Angeles native will remember that shot for some time.
“Oh, yeah,” Gore said. “That will be a good one for a while. Until I forget. ... Do you think they’ll put a plaque there? I doubt it.”
If they do place a plaque, then David Edwards is going to have to ask for one too. Edwards had been the last player to make double eagle at 18 in the tournament, doing so in the third round in 1987.
It’s in the hole
Beyond Gore’s albatross, there were 13 other hole-outs from off the green, CBS reported on its broadcast.
Three hole-outs came from more than 180 yards, the second most recorded in a round by ShotLink on the tour in 13 years. There were four in the third round of the 2009 Frys.com Open.
The oddest and luckiest on Saturday was the eagle Ben Crane made at the par-four 15th.
Nearly stymied behind a tree in the right rough, Crane used a hybrid to hit a hard cut. The yardage to the green’s front was 184 and the ball traveled maybe 130 yards in the air, then started to roll.
“As soon as the ball hit the surface, I said, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s in,’” Crane said with a laugh. “I called it early, which normally does work.”
The ball scooted onto the green, rolled to the back pin and dropped in.
Two groups later, on the same hole, Freddie Jacobson also drove into the right rough, and from 184 yards he holed his shot for another eagle.
“Jacobson makes eagle behind me; Gore made a two at 18. I’ve never heard of three shots like that,” Crane said.
Crane, the 2010 Farmers champion, shot 71 and was tied for ninth at six under. Jacobson also shot 71 and was among four tied for fifth at seven under.
It’s not in the hole
Then there’s Chesson Hadley.
He put his tee shot at the par-three 16th hole on the green and was looking at a 28-footer for birdie.
Then he five-putted. He needed four putts from about 3 1/2 feet.
That led to a triple bogey and a five-over 77 that left him 11 shots behind the leaders.
Trying to beat the weather
With high winds and heavy rain in the Sunday today’s forecast, PGA Tour officials moved up the starting time for the final round.
The first groups will tee off at 7 a.m. The leaders in the final group are scheduled to tee off at 8:50, 70 minutes earlier than originally scheduled.
A low pressure system developing offshore is expected to make its biggest impact Sunday afternoon and evening.
“For us to start early really gives us a chance to get done by 2 o'clock before the worst moves in here,” PGA Tour meteorologist Stewart Williams said. “If we do get stopped before that, then it’s going to be very difficult to play golf in the mid- to late afternoon.”
Williams said he expects 10-15 mph winds in the morning with light rain that is not expected to interrupt play.
“The only thing would be if we got a heavy downpour and [water] puddled up and we had to stop and let the course drain a little bit and then get back out there,” Williams said. “If we get some of that, then that pushes our finish back.
Heavy rain is expected to move in after 2 p.m.
“There’s optimism that we can get this in [Sunday],” Williams said. “You’d just hate to come back for two or three holes on Monday.”
The last time the Farmers had a Monday finish was in 2013, when Tiger Woods won the tournament for a record seventh time.
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