LA JOLLA, Calif. -- Hang gliders were taking off from the cliffs behind the 13th tee at Torrey Pines where Kyle Stanley was waiting to tee off on the 524-yard hole. Then, the 24-year-old launched a shot that was just as majestic.
"Wait `til to you see where this one went," caddie Brett Waldman said.
On another clear day along the Pacific coast, it was hard not to notice.
In a familiar performance -- even if the name might not be all that familiar now -- Stanley overpowered the South Course on Saturday on his way to a 4-under 68 that gave him a five-shot lead going into the final round at the Farmers Insurance Open.
"For some reason, I've always been long," said Stanley, who has a slight but athletic build and generates enormous speed. "But if you take a golf course like this where you're hitting 7-irons into par 5s and short irons into long par 4s, it definitely helps."
It never hurt Tiger Woods, a seven-time winner as a pro at Torrey Pines.
Stanley chose to lay up on the par-5 18th with the large pond in front, and spun a wedge near the hole to about 4 feet. About his only regret in the third round was missing that putt. One last birdie would have broken the 54-hole tournament record that Woods set in 1998, before Rees Jones beefed up the South Course to 7,698 yards for the 2008 U.S. Open.
Stanley grew up outside Seattle when Woods ruled the sport. All through his school, he kept a poster of Woods over his bed.
"I think he's definitely influenced me, and a lot of other people, too," Stanley said.