By Garrett Johnston
San Diego, CA – Davis native Nick Watney fired a 4-under par 68 on Friday at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in San Diego, California. He played alongside Tiger Woods, who leads the tournament by three strokes at 11-under after an impressive 7-under 65. Watney sits four back at 7-under par for the championship.
On a day when rain was as much a part of the fabric of the tournament as the players themselves, Woods seized command during the second round at Torrey Pines. He is a six-time champion of this event and he won the 2008 US Open here in dramatic style over Rocco Mediate as well.
The sports world was treated on Friday to the signature shotmaking that made Woods the tremendous champion he’s been, yet Watney hung in and remains a factor as the tournament shifts into the third and final rounds this weekend.
Watney, who idolized Woods during his formative years growing up in Davis, always relishes the chance to play in Woods’ group.
“It’s fun just to play with him,” Watney said. “It’s always good to play with the best.”
The best for so many years, yet all things come to an end. The question here is whether Woods’ out of this world closing ability of years past will come into play this weekend.
If it does it may be a formality come Sunday afternoon for the man who grew up playing Torrey Pines.
Watney admits that for him and the other pursuers, they have a tall order ahead of them to catch Woods on the difficult South Course.
“You’re not going to hit it too close because the course is so difficult,” Watney said of play on the weekend. “So it comes down to putting really.”
Can Watney putt his way into the final group with Woods for Sunday’s final climactic round?
Garrett Johnston is a free-lance sports journalist based in Sacramento, California.