Sam Ryder breaks away from the field at the Farmers Insurance Open
Sam Ryder is in a strong position to make a run at his first PGA Tour victory as he heads into the weekend at the Farmers Insurance Open with a three-stroke buffer atop the leaderboard.
Ryder, 33, has not collected a professional win since his Web.com Tour triumph back in 2017, but after banking a second-place finish in 2021 and a third-place result in 2022, he now has his best chance at a PGA Tour title.
The American owned a share of the lead after an eight-under 64 in his opening round on the Torrey Pines North Course, and he followed it with a four-under 68 on the South Course during Friday's second round. The final two rounds will be played on the South Course, which has hosted the U.S. Open twice.
Ryder's co-leaders after 18 holes both had far more trouble on the South Course, with Brent Grant posting a two-over 74 to drop to six under, while England's Aaron Rai shot himself out of contention with a six-over 78.
Alone in second place is Ryder's playing partner from the first two days, Brendan Steele, who went two under on the more difficult South Course to reach the weekend at nine under.
Incredibly, Steele is the only player within five strokes of the leader, with Argentina's Tano Goya sitting in solo third place at seven under.
Despite Grant's massive drop-off, he still owns a share of fourth place at six under, where he is part of a six-man group including Max Homa and Sahith Theegala.
Former world number one Jason Day and current top-10 talent Collin Morikawa round out the top-10 at five under, while Jon Rahm, who has won four of his past six starts, is one further back at four under.