Jason Day moves to no.4 in the world following Farmers Insurance Open Victory
Post by Sports Writer Derek Clements
WE HAVE already seen some fantastic finishes on the PGA Tour this season, and the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines produced another, with Jason Day winning a four-man playoff.
Day, JB Holmes, Scott Stallings and Harris English finished tied at nine under par. The first playoff hole was the par-five 18th. Day and Holmes birdied it, eliminating Stallings and English.
Off they went to the par-three16th, which Day had birdied in regulation play. A par in the playoff was good enough. Now watch him go.
The sky above California was cloudless, the temperature touch 70F, but a breeze coming in off the Pacific meant that the South Course at Torrey Pines provided a real test. English had led at 10under par after 36 holes - as the tournament headed towards its climax, English, Holmes, Day and Scott Stallings were all tied for the lead at nine under.
Day had birdied the 15th and 16th to reach that mark but his approach at the 17th finished plugged in a greenside bunker, just as he did 12 months ago when he had a chance to win. This time he got up and down to save par. Stallings - a three-time winner on tour - was the man who took advantage last year and made a wonderful fist of defending his title.
Playing ahead of his rivals, Stallings was unable to birdie the par-five 18th and set the target at nine under.
English drove poorly all day but scrambled superbly to remain in contention. However, he eventually ran out of steam towards the end of the final round, with dropped shots at the 14th and 15th taking him back to eight under.
Final round highlights from the Farmers Insuarance Open
Day put his second shot through the back of the 18th, leaving himself with a horrendous downhill chip to a flag no more than 12 feet from the lake that protects the green. He knew that a birdie would take him to 10 under and would probably secure the title, but a fraction too hard and the ball would be in the water. Sure enough, he hit it too hard but, incredibly, the ball stopped about 12 inches from the water, meaning he had to get up and down for a par to tie with Stallings. It was never in doubt.
With English stuttering, it was all down to JB to see if he could get to 10 under. A golden opportunity went at the 17th when he missed a 12-foot birdie putt. And so to the 18th, which he could easily reach in two. Inexplicably, he laid up with his second,meaning he had to get down in two from 100 yards to win. A poor shot left him a 20-foot downhill putt for victory and he missed it.
It appeared to open the door for English, whose second shot finished in a greenside bunker - up and down in two and he would move to nine under and make it a four-man playoff And that is precisely what happened.
Tiger Woods, playing in his second successive event, followed his missed cut at Phoenix with a first-round withdrawal which he blamed on the two-hour delay for fog during the first round. He said that he didn't have time to warm-up properly before resuming his round and pulled out with yet more back problems.
It must have been a huge relief to Dustin Johnson, whose six-month exile ended with the 30-year-old predictably missing the cut, but not before recording an eagle two during his opening round and showing signs that it won't be long before he is back in contention. Sadly, it is unlikely that the same can be said for Woods, who cut a sad and forlorn figure as he limped away from another tournament.
Image Credit - PGA Tour Twitter
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