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Back injury shelves Kokrak at Farmers



Published: Sat, January 26, 2013 @ 12:07 a.m.

Staff report

LA JOLLA, CALIF.

Warren native Jason Kokrak withdrew from Friday’s second round of the Farmers Insurance Open with a back injury.

Kokrak shot a 2-over 74 in Thursday’s first round at Torrey Pines. He shot a 38 on Friday’s front nine.

“Everything is OK,” Kokrak wrote in a text to The Vindicator. “Just strained something a bit.”

Kokrak said he is planning to play in next week’s Waste Management Phoenix Open.

Tiger Woods made one last birdie as the rain picked up strength Friday, and what he left behind was a gloomy forecast for everyone else.

He had a two-shot lead at the tournament he already has won six times.

He is driving the ball long and straight, just what he needs to handle the par 5s — he has played them in 9 under so far.

And when it comes to experience, he has a 74-0 advantage in PGA Tour wins against the next seven guys on the leaderboard.

Woods knows better than to chalk up another win, so when asked about his name atop the leaderboard after a 7-under 65 on the North Course, he was quick to point out, “We have a long way to go.”

Even so, this had all the trappings of another Tiger show at Torrey Pines.

Woods didn’t miss a shot during a four-hole stretch around the turn on the North Course that included a 5-iron to 5 feet for eagle and a wedge that one-hopped off the pin to set up birdie. It carried him to a two-shot lead over Billy Horschel going into the weekend.

Asked whether he played better when everything was going well in his life, Woods waited out the long question with a short answer.

“I feel good right now,” said Woods, who was at 11-under 133. “I’m leading the tournament.”

Horschel, who had to go back to Q-school to get his card last year, had a 69 on the South Course to get into the final group.

“It’s a good day and I’m excited about tomorrow — I get to play with Tiger,” Horschel said. “I found out when I tapped in for par. I realized he was leading and I was in second place. So yeah, looking forward to that.”

For Woods, it was his first outright lead going into the weekend against a full field since the Australian Open in 2011 (he finished third at The Lakes), and his first time atop the leaderboard at Torrey Pines since 2008. Then again, he has only played one time at this event since then when he was just starting to change his swing.

And while this looks ominous for everyone else, Woods with a 36-hole lead — even at Torrey Pines — doesn’t mean this is over. He had a 34-10 record when he has at least a share of the 36-hole lead, though he has failed to win four of the last six times from that spot.

Woods caught a break in the draw by playing the easier North — it’s about 600 yards shorter — on a day of light rain, a late breeze and soft conditions. But he kept the ball in play off the tee, and he only got in trouble once. That was on the par-4 eighth hole, which he bogeyed.


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