A nine-time winner on the European Tour, Alex Noren of Sweden gave himself a chance to make his mark in America with a 3-under 69 on Saturday for a one-shot lead going into the final round of the Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego.
Noren finished strong, unlike some of his top challengers. He drilled his second shot over the water on the par-5 18th at Torrey Pines to the back fringe, setting up a simple two-putt birdie.
Ryan Palmer had a chance to tie him for the lead until he came out of a wedge and missed the green to the right. He settled for par and a 73.
Jon Rahm, the defending champion who can go to No. 1 in the world with a victory this week, was poised to get within one shot, or possibly tie for the lead. From the middle of the fairway, Rahm's 4-iron came up short and into the water. After a penalty drop, his wedge shot bounced hard and through the green. His chip came out soft, and he missed a 6-foot putt and made double bogey.
That left him four shots out of the lead. Rahm was three shots behind going into the final round when he won last year.
Tiger Woods was superb with his short game for the second straight day, and it's a good thing. Woods was so wild off the tee that he hit only one fairway on the back nine and three fairways for the round. He putted for birdie on only nine holes. And he still managed to scratch out a 70.
McIlroy is in the mix
Rory McIlroy shot a 4-under 68 and is one stroke behind China's Li Haotong after the third round of the Dubai Desert Classic. McIlroy, a four-time major champion, hasn't won since August 2016 at the Tour Championship. Li shot a bogey-free 64 at Emirates Golf Club.
Henderson leads by one
Brooke Henderson birdied the par-5 18th hole and had a one-stroke lead over top-ranked Shanshan Feng in the suspended second round of the windswept Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic. Henderson shot an even-par 73 to get to 5 under overall after two rounds and three days at the Ocean Club Golf Course. The event was cut to 54 holes after wind wiped out play most of Friday.
Michigan AG fumes
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette lashed out at Michigan State for allowing Larry Nassar to sexually abuse girls and women for years, and he took a shot at the school's governing body.
"I don't need advice from the board of trustees," the aspiring governor said at a packed news conference Saturday about his investigation into the school's handling of sexual assault claims against the disgraced doctor. "Frankly, they should be the last ones providing advice because of their conduct."
Schuette said retired prosecutor William Forsyth, who has 40-plus years of experience, will work full time on the independent probe. Forsyth will lead a team that includes top investigators from the state attorney general's office and the State Police.
Pittsburgh Pirates lefthander Nik Turley, a former Twin, was suspended for 80 games without pay after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance. The suspension will start at the beginning of the regular season.
The 28-year-old Turley made his major league debut last year for the Twins, going 0-2 with an 11.21 ERA in 10 appearances. Pittsburgh claimed him off waivers in November.
Machado moving to short
Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter said that Manny Machado will move from third base to shortstop this spring, and shortstop Tim Beckham will be shifted to third.
around the horn
College football: Kyle Lauletta of Richmond completed eight of 12 passes for 198 yards and three touchdowns as the South defeated the North 45-16 in the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala. The game also featured Oklahoma Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield (3-for-7, 9 yards for the North) and Wyoming's Josh Allen (9-for-13, 158 yards, two TDs for the North), a potential No. 1 overall draft pick. San Diego State running back Rashaad Penny rushed nine times for 63 yards and caught a 73-yard touchdown pass for the South.
Winter Olympics: The IOC said it has invited 169 Russian athletes to compete at the Pyeongchang Olympics. The number confirms the team size announced Thursday by the suspended Russian Olympic Committee.
X Games: Shaun White withdrew from the Winter X Games in Aspen, Colo., so he can return home to rest for the Olympics. White caught the flu last week. He was practicing in Aspen this week but notified event organizers he would not compete. He leaves for Pyeongchang next Saturday.
Downhill skiing: Beat Feuz of Switzerland won the last men's World Cup downhill before the Olympics, underlining his status as a gold medal favorite. The world champion completed the 3.3-kilometer (2-mile) Kandahar course in Germany in 1 minute, 55.39 seconds. It was the third win of the season for Feuz and his 15th overall.
Boxing: International Boxing Federation vice president Gafur Rakhimov — "one of Uzbekistan's leading criminals," according to United States authorities — has been named interim president.
Auto racing: Mike Conway in a Cadillac for Action Express Racing had the overall lead six hours into the Rolex 24 at Daytona.