LA JOLLA – Admission will be free today at Torrey Pines Golf Course, where Tiger Woods is a heavy favorite to complete his 75th victory on the PGA Tour and seventh at the Farmers Insurance Open.
Woods holds a six-stroke lead over Brandt Snedeker and Nick Watney through seven holes of the fog-delayed $6.1 million tournament, whose winner will receive $1.098 million.
”I’ve got to continue with executing my game plan,” said Woods, who is at 17-under-par. ”That’s the idea. I’ve got 11 holes to play and I’ve got to go out there and play them well.”
With play limited to five minutes on Saturday because of fog, the entire third round and a portion of the fourth and final round were played Sunday.
Gates will open at 10 a.m. today, and play is set to begin at 11:10 a.m., with players restarting from the position where they left off Sunday. Parking at Lot A-Glider Port will be free until it fills.
When the Glider Port lot reaches capacity, fans will be diverted to Lot B (UTC-Executive Drive) and Lot C (Del Mar Fairgrounds Practice Track), where they will be shuttled to and from Torrey Pines Golf Course on a continuous schedule. Parking at both Lots B and C will cost $15, which includes shuttle transportation.
Tournament executive director Peter Ripa announced Saturday that admission on Monday would be free because ”we felt it was the right thing to do because of the recent weather issues.”
Golf Channel will broadcast the completion of the final round from 11:10 a.m.-1 p.m., with the coverage shifting at 1 p.m. to CBS, which will air it to its conclusion.
History is on Woods’ side. He has held the third-round lead 53 times in PGA Tour play and gone on to win 49 times.
Woods began Sunday play with a two-shot lead over Billy Horschel, then increased the lead to four shots with birdies on the second and third holes.
Woods lost a shot off the lead by bogeying the fifth hole but got it back with a birdie on the sixth. He also had birdies on the 10th and 13th holes and a bogey on the 18th for a round of three-under-par 69, giving him a four- shot lead at 14-under-par 202 over PGA Tour rookie Brad Fritsch.
”I played really, really well,” Woods said . ”I hit the ball pretty good today. It seemed like I was always in good position.”
Horschel shot a four-over-par 76 to fall into a seven-way tie for 22nd at five-under-par 211, nine shots behind Woods.
Fourth-round play began a short time later and Woods added to his lead with birdies on the third, fourth and sixth holes before play was suspended due to darkness. He is at 17-under-par for the tournament.
Watney, one of five golfers tied for fourth at eight-under-par 208 at the end of the third round, birdied the first, third and fourth holes of the fourth round and is three-under-par through eight holes to go to 11-under-par for the tournament, where he is joined by Snedeker.
Snedeker, who was in an eight-way tie for ninth at the end of the third round at seven-under-par 209, is at four-under-par through 13 holes of the fourth round, with five birdies and one bogey.
Fritsch is at one-over-par though seven holes of the fourth round and in fourth place at nine-under-par.
”I’ve got a long way to go,” admitted Snedeker, who overcame a seven- stroke deficit to win last year’s tournament.
”I’ve got a guy at the top of the leaderboard that doesn’t like giving up leads, so I have to go to catch him.”
Added Watney: ”All I can do is I’m going to try to make as many birdies as I can. I’ve got 11 and 12 that are tough and hopefully, maybe he can help me out a little bit. I don’t know. But I can’t just hand it to him, as a competitor, so we’ll come out and see how close we can get.”
Woods’ 74 PGA Tour victories are second behind the late Sam Snead, who won 82 between 1936 and 1965.
His first victory came in his fifth tournament as a professional, the 1996 Las Vegas Invitational. He won a second time that year, four times in 1997, once in 1998, eight times in 1999, nine times in 2000, five times each in 2001, 2002 and 2003, once in 2004, six times in 2005, eight times in 2006, seven times in 2007, four times in 2008 and six times in 2009.
Woods was winless in 2010 and 2011 following an early morning auto accident on Nov. 27, 2009 and his admission of infidelity. He ended a 924-day victory drought by winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational March 25. He also won the Memorial Tournament and AT&T National last year.
Woods’ six victories at the Farmers Insurance Open are the most in its history. Phil Mickelson, a three-time winner, is the only other player to win more than twice.
Woods’ most recent victory came in 2008. The tournament was initially known as the San Diego Open and has been played all but one year since 1952.
Woods has won two tournaments seven times — The Arnold Palmer Invitational in Bay Hill, Fla., and the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Akron, Ohio.