World number three Jon Rahm fired a bogey-free six-under par 65 on Saturday to grab a three-shot lead at Riviera, where Tiger Woods thrilled fans with a four-under par 67.
Rahm, who can return to number one with a victory, hit just five of 14 fairways but moved past overnight leader Max Homa, putting himself in position to capture a third US PGA Tour title of 2023. His 15-under par total of 198 put him three clear of Homa, whose two-under par 69 for 201 kept him one in front of Keith Mitchell, who also posted a 69.
Rahm is seeking a third title of the year after victories at the Tournament of Champions in Hawaii and at La Quinta, California, in his next event. It all has him in position to grab the number one spot from American Scottie Scheffler, who supplanted Rory McIlroy with his Phoenix Open win last Sunday.
While Rahm arrived at Riviera as perhaps the hottest golfer on tour, Woods was a mystery coming into his first event since he missed the cut at The Open Championship in July. Still severely limited by the right leg injuries he suffered in a February 2021 car accident, Woods had barely made the halfway cut. But he equaled the third-best round of the day behind Denny McCarthy’s 64.
He fired an eagle and three birdies in a four-under par 67 to power up the leaderboard at the Genesis Invitational. The 15-time major champion had made the cut on the number after struggling on the greens in a second-round 74. But he delighted the huge, vocal contingent of fans cheering him on at Riviera Country Club with one of the best rounds of the day.
“Today was better. I felt like I made some nice adjustments with my putting and that was the thing that held make back yesterday. I’ve driven it well the last three days, my iron play has been good. And the firm conditions I like, that’s kind of right up my alley with iron play, “Woods said.
With his lower right leg and ankle still making walking problematic, Woods has said he hopes to play all four majors this year and a few other events. Woods is the host of the tournament, which features 19 of the world’s top 20 all chasing a $3.6 million winner’s prize from a purse of $20 million.
SOURCE: AFP NEWS