Kyle Stanley is one round away from his first PGA Tour win, and it’s something that’s not lost on him.
Stanley shot a four-under 68 to increase his lead after the third round of the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines Golf Course. The second-year player will attempt to become the first wire-to-wire winner in the tournament since Johnny Miller did so in 1982.
“I mean, yeah, winning on tour is something that you dream about as a kid, so it would certainly be nice for it to happen,” Stanley said. “But I still have one round left, and we’ll see.”
Dressed in orange and purple as part of the tournament’s “University Day,” the Clemson University product also tied Tiger Woods for the 54-hole record (-18, 198 total strokes). Woods was -18 after the third round in 2008, and eventually won the with a score of -19.
Players were encouraged to dress in their college colors, with the low round of the day earning $20,000 for his school’s golf team. The Atlantic Coast Conference was well represented, as Jonas Blixt (-7) won $20,000 for Florida State University. Cameron Tringale (-6) won $10,000 for Georgia Tech.
Stanley was steady all day, with only one bogey to go along with five birdies. Using his enormous driving average of more than 309 yards, and his greens in regulation percentage of 88.9, he seems to have the right recipe for success on the South Course.
“Another really good ball-striking day, drove it pretty well,” Stanley said. “For some reason, I’ve always been long (driver). I don’t know why because I'm not the biggest guy in the world. But you take a golf course like this where you’re hitting 7-irons into par-5s and short irons into long par-4s, it definitely helps. I mean, it’s helped me a lot this week.”
John Huh and John Rollins each shot 68 to finish in a tie for second place at -13. Huh, playing at Torrey Pines for the first time this week, made three eagles during Thursday's opening round. He sits only five shots back, putting him in contention.
“I’m pretty sure it will give me a lot of pressure being in contention, but I’m trying to learn,” he said. “It’s my first year, so I’m trying to learn from it and not to throw anything out.”
Pat Perez (Torrey Pines HS) ended the third round as the highest finisher among San Diego-area golfers. Perez shot 71 to finish at -9. Chris Riley (Patrick Henry HS) finished at -7, along with Rickie Fowler (Murietta Valley HS). Charley Hoffman (Poway HS) shot a two-over 74 to finish at -3.
Brandt Snedeker, who started the day at -13, just one shot behind Stanley, struggled through a two-over round. Despite continuing to strike the ball well, the putts that fell yesterday didn’t on Saturday.
Television coverage of the final round will continue on Sunday, beginning at noon on CBS. The winner of the tournament will win $1.08 million.