By Ben Everill
LA JOLLA, California (Reuters) - Five-times PGA Tour winner Jimmy Walker led by one stroke when rain and extremely strong winds forced the suspension of play for the day during the final round at the Farmers Insurance Open on Sunday.
Competition will resume on Monday at 8AM local time (1600 GMT), at which time strong winds are forecast to continue blowing at Torrey Pines next to the Pacific Ocean.
Walker was seven-under through 10 holes, while fellow American Brandt Snedeker fired a brilliant 69 in the difficult conditions to post the clubhouse lead at six-under 282.
South Korean K.J. Choi was also six-under, after 10 holes, while American Kevin Streelman (13 holes) and Swede Freddie Jacobson (11 holes) were next at five-under.
Snedeker, the 2012 champion, is sitting pretty after making four birdies and just one bogey on a day when the scoring average was 78 in the wild weather as winds gusted at times to more than 45 miles per hour (72 kph).
Whether his score holds up for victory might depend on whether the winds abate overnight, or continue to blow as forecast.
“I couldn't do it again. I don't know how I did it,” Snedeker told reporters. “I didn't get off to the best of starts, kind of hung in there, but I made a long putt for par on four, about a 45-footer. Then holed a 15-footer for par on five. Then got the rain delay. “(I) came back out, started hitting the ball a little bit better and kind of got the day going on 10 with a birdie and kind of got some good stuff going from there. Just one of those freak days where you just got to get lucky, I got lucky. I hit some good shots.” Searching for an eighth tour win, Snedeker admitted that not making birdie on the par-five 18th could come back to haunt him.
“Hopefully it won’t come back and bite me, but it's something I'm going to regret for the next couple of hours here,” he lamented after his greenside chip ran long and he could not coax in his putt from the fringe. “But to have a chance to win from where I started today, that's probably a pretty good day.” Walker, meanwhile, is looking for a sixth win in the last three seasons. “It played really tough into the wind, even downwind, it played very tough,” he said. “It was tough to putt on the greens and when it's blowing (hard), I think that's why you see guys making lots of bogeys. “We'll go back out tomorrow and get after it.”
(Editing by Andrew Both)