La Jolla, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - J.B. Holmes carded a 4-under 68 on Saturday and that helped him move into a share of the lead after three rounds of the Farmers Insurance Open.
Holmes joined Harris English at 9-under-par 207. English, who led by two after 36 holes, carded a 1-over 73 in round three. Holmes will go for his fourth tour win on Sunday, while English will try for his third PGA Tour title.
The duo stands atop the leaderboard, but has plenty of company behind them. Nick Watney, the 2009 winner, managed an even-par 72 on Saturday to stay at minus-8. He stands alongside Chad Campbell, Jimmy Walker, Lucas Glover and Spencer Levin, who all shot 2-under 70.
Alex Prugh moved to 7-under-par 209 thanks to a 3-under 69 on Saturday. He was joined there by Jhonattan Vegas (73), Bill Haas (70), Jason Day (71) and Andres Gonzales (71).
Play rotated over the North and South Courses at Torrey Pines for the first two rounds, while the final two rounds are being played on the South Course.
Holmes opened with three pars in a row before chipping in for birdie on the fourth. He gave that shot right back as he stumbled to a bogey on No. 5. Holmes came right back with birdies at six and seven to move within two of the lead at minus-7.
Around the turn, Holmes stuffed his second shot at the par-4 10th inside two feet and he kicked that in for birdie. He ran home a 19-foot birdie effort on the 13th to tie English at minus-9.
Holmes made it two in a row as he drained a 13-foot birdie try at 14. He tripped to a bogey 15 and dipped two back at 17, where his drive found a hazard left of the fairway and that led to another bogey. Holmes converted an 11-footer for birdie at the last to post 9-under.
"I had a great round today and put myself in position for Sunday. That's all you can ask for. The course is playing tough and I hit it well today, made a few putts, so it was a good round for me," Holmes said. "The greens are firm and fast, and rough is thick. If you don't hit it in the fairway, you have trouble getting it to the green and when you get it there, you have to miss it on the right side so you have a chance to get it up and down."
English dropped his approach at the first three feet from the hole and he knocked that in for birdie. After a pair of pars, English made a mess of the fourth.
He found the right rough off the tee and came up short in the left rough. He chipped onto the fringe, but 3-putted for double-bogey from there to slide to 9-under.
English still led by one at that point, and he ran off eight pars in a row from the fifth. Levin briefly joined English in the lead during that string of pars, and Holmes moved in front with his rally.
At the par-5 13th, English rolled in a 9-footer for birdie to move two clear of Holmes, who had bogeyed 15 and 17. After Holmes finished at minus-9, English dropped back to him as he left a chip in the rough on the 16th and that led to a bogey. He parred the final two holes to end tied for the lead.
"It's a battle out there. You have to stay patient, that's the key to this golf course. You're going to hit some really good shots and have chances at birdie and you're going to hit some bad shots, and you have to grind it out. I felt like I did that today," said English. "I had a tough stretch on four and had a tough go on 16, but you've got to grind and even-par is a good score around here."
NOTES: Holmes has won three of the four times he has had at least a piece of the 54-hole lead, while English has a share of the 54-hole lead for the first time in his PGA Tour career ... Defending champion Scott Stallings carded a 4- under 68 to move into a share of 13th place at 6-under 210 ... Chad Campbell had a hole-in-one on the par-3 13th ... John Peterson had the only bogey-free round on Saturday.