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Ryuji Imada leads at Torrey Pines; Mickelson four back

January 30, 2010 |  3:50 pm

Imada1_300 You didn't see this on CBS. The network left the Farmers Insurance Open golf tournament at Torrey Pines before the last group finished up. So you missed Ryuji Imada birdie the par-five 18th hole of the South Course, a result that caused a large roar for a little man.

Imada, who is 5-foot-8 and 150 pounds and looks as if he could go wind surfing with no other equipment except a strong breeze, has a two-shot lead going into Sunday's final round. He is at 13-under par with a three-day total of 203. He has a two-shot lead over Ben Crane and 25-year-old Scottish-born, Australian citizen Michael Sim.

Phil Mickelson, ranked second in the world behind Tiger Woods, is tied for fifth, four shots back as is Murrieta's Rickie Fowler and second-round co-leader D.A. Points.

Imada, 33, failed to record a top-10 PGA Tour finish for the first time in his 10-year professional career in 2009. In 2008 he won the AT&T Classic at Pebble Beach and says he enjoys playing the West Coast tournaments because he likes the greens. Imada moved from Hiroshima, Japan, to Tampa, Fla., when he was 14 to attend a golf academy. He spoke no English at the time but ended up playing college golf at the University of Georgia.

Mickelson said he was unhappy with the state of his long game and would be putting in an emergency coaching call to Butch Harmon before he heads to the Northern Trust Open at Riviera. 

For more, check out latimes.com/sports later.

-- Diane Pucin

Photo: Ryuji Imada climbs out of a fairway bunker at No. 5 on the Torrey Pines South Course during the third round of the Farmers Insurance Open on Saturday. Credit: Donald Miralle / Getty Images

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