Tiger Woods edges through as Ryan Palmer leads Farmers Insurance Open
Defending champion Jon Rahm well-placed in second after carding a 66.
Last Updated: 28/01/18 1:09am
Tiger Woods just made the cut as Ryan Palmer claimed the halfway lead in the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines.
Woods, making his latest comeback this week, carded a one-under 71 on the North Course to sneak into the weekend thanks to a birdie on his final hole.
The former world No 1 is, nevertheless, 10 shots behind Palmer, whose five-under 67 on the North Course took him to 11-under after 36 holes.
Defending champion Jon Rahm is just one behind Palmer following a 66 on the North Course, with American duo Luke List and Tony Finau sharing third place on nine under.
All eyes were once again on Woods when he teed off on the 10th hole and there was a sign of things to come as he hooked his opening tee shot almost onto the South Course.
He managed to salvage par there, but he went on to find only three fairways during his round with a drive into a hazard on the 13th proving costly as he slipped back to two over with a double bogey.
That left Woods in severe danger of missing the cut but he produced a grinding performance on the front nine as he clawed his way back up the leaderboard with his short game proving to be the key.
A 30-foot birdie putt on the first put him back on track and further birdies followed at the fifth and seventh, either side of a brilliant flop shot to save par at the sixth.
Woods made a mess of the eighth to drop back to level par, but he recovered to birdie the ninth and make a cut for the first time in 888 days.
Palmer's charge to the top of the leaderboard was aided by two eagles - at the ninth and 17th - as he recovered from a shaky start which saw him post back-to-back bogeys at the second and third.
The American, who underwent shoulder surgery last year, also had four birdies, including one at the 18th, and one other bogey at the 14th.
"Just a calm day," he said. "I never got really frustrated or in front of myself so I've salvaged a great round."
Rahm can topple Dustin Johnson as world No 1 if he retains the title on Sunday and he is well-placed to do that after six birdies in his flawless round.
Two of those came at the 10th and 11th - his opening two holes - and the Spaniard felt they were the key to his score.
"It was not easy at all today," he said. "I had the putter really hot on the first nine holes, made a lot of good putts both for birdie and par.
"But my short game kept me alive today. All those par saves and a couple of those 50-yard shots out of the rough to make birdies at 10 and 11.
"It's what made this round what it is. It could have been close to even maybe, but those couple of saves are what made it such a good round.
"You know, it's really fun to be the last person that won here and be playing good again and have a chance to go back-to-back."
Overnight leader Finau could only manage a two-under 70 on the South Course where List impressed with a 66.
The round of the day belonged to Jason Day, who blazed his way around the North Course in eight-under 64, including five birdies over the closing six holes.
The Australian is in a share of sixth place on seven under, one behind Sweden's Alex Noren who is fifth on eight under after a 66.
Phil Mickelson's 68 on the South Course - the highlight an eagle on the 13th which was surrounded by three bogeys - earned him a share of ninth place, while Justin Rose is one shot back on five under following a 70 which saw him mix six birdies with four bogeys.
Padraig Harrington, Martin Laird, Shane Lowry and Luke Donald were among the players to miss the cut, with the final two rounds to both be played on the South Course this weekend.