January 28, 2018 / 2:06 AM / 9 months ago

Torrey Pines leader Noren welcomes anonymity

LA JOLLA, California (Reuters) - Alex Noren has won nine times on the European Tour but the third round leader at the Farmers Insurance Open remains a mystery man in the United States to all but the most dedicated fans.

Jan 27, 2018; San Diego, CA, USA; Alex Noren plays his shot from the 18th tee during the third round of the Farmers Insurance Open golf tournament at Torrey Pines Municipal Golf Course - South Co. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

And that is just fine with the 35-year-old Swede, who will take a one-stroke lead into the final round at Torrey Pines on Sunday.

“I don’t care too much if they (American audiences) know me or not,” he said after carding three-under-par 69 on Saturday.

Jan 27, 2018; San Diego, CA, USA; Alex Noren plays his shot from the third tee during the third round of the Farmers Insurance Open golf tournament at Torrey Pines Municipal Golf Course - South Co. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

“It’s quite nice if they don’t know me. All I’m trying to do is play some good golf and my aim is to win a tournament.

“I’ve been under the radar for most of my career.”

The long-hitter has a career-high world ranking of eighth, and is currently 19th.

Renowned as a dedicated worker who would often close the range, he has lightened up a bit in recent years and is reaping reward for his ‘less is more’ attitude.

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He was mostly rock solid on Saturday, apart from a double-bogey at the par-four 12th, where he took four strokes to negotiate the final 55 yards.

“It’s a tough hole but a double felt pretty rough after just lipping out the hole before ... so I’m happy coming back from that,” he said after picking up three birdies in the final six holes.

Now a member of the PGA Tour, Noren will look to maintain his slender advantage on Sunday when he tees off at 11-under 205, with 10 players within three strokes.

“I’ve dreamt of winning on the U.S. Tour,” he said. “It’s a tough day tomorrow but I’m looking forward to it.”

Editing by Peter Rutherford

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