Jason Day needed only one hole to win the Farmers Insurance Open on Monday morning, beating Alex Noren in a playoff that continued after play was suspended due to darkness Sunday evening after they played five extra holes.
Day birdied the par-5 18th, the sixth playoff hole, for his first PGA Tour victory since the 2016 Players Championship and his second at the Farmers.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Day said on the CBS/Golf Channel telecast immediately after winning. “I know that last year wasn’t the greatest season for me. It’s special because I worked very hard in the offseason to try and get back to this position.”
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) January 29, 2018
Day is the former world No. 1 who had fallen to No. 14 in the rankings. It was his 11th PGA Tour victory and he moved to ninth in this season’s FedExCup standings.
Ryan Palmer was also in the playoff after the three finished regulation at 10 under, but he was eliminated on the first playoff hole on Sunday.
Day and Noren continued at 8:04 a.m. local time Monday at the Torrey Pines course outside of San Diego.
On Monday morning, both players missed the fairway with their tee shots, but Noren’s second went into the pond in front of the green.
Day laid up then stuck a wedge to 18 inches, and Noren failed to chip in after his drop. Day made his birdie putt for the win.
Noren was trying to win his first PGA Tour event. He has won five times on the European Tour since the summer of 2016.
On Sunday, Day and Noren birdied three of five playoff holes at the scenic course adjacent to the Pacific Ocean. After both players birdied 18 on playoff hole No. 5, play was suspended.
“Too dark right now, I could barely see the last putt,” Noren said in a post-round television interview. “Very enjoyable. This is what I play for.”
Day joked that they could have continued to play, that all that was needed was some car headlights along the fairway.
“Alex is playing some tremendous golf,” Day said in a post-round television interview. “I’ll try to get some rest and play all day tomorrow if I need to get a win.”
Day, Noren and Palmer completed 72 holes at 10-under 278. Day shot a final-round 70 with four birdies and two bogeys, Noren shot 73 with three birdies and four bogeys, and Palmer shot 72 with three birdies and three bogeys.
Tiger Woods finished in a tie for 23rd at 3-under 285 in his first PGA Tour appearance since undergoing his fourth back surgery last April. Woods shot a final-round 72.
But the show belonged to Day and Noren as the final round meandered toward sunset.
J.B. Holmes shot 72 and finished fourth at 9-under 279. Keegan Bradley (70) was fifth at 8-under while Charles Howell III (69) and Tony Finau (73) finished in a tie for sixth at 7-under 281.
Woods’ Sunday score matched his highest of his four trips around Torrey Pines. He had four birdies and four bogies on Sunday.
“I played a lot better today,” Woods said in a post-round interview with CBS. “Tough conditions out there. It was tough scoring. I really wanted to shoot something around 65. I thought that might be a playoff number.”
Overall, Woods said he was encouraged with his performance in the tournament.
“Very pleased,” Woods said. “After not playing for a couple years and coming out on the Tour, I played a solid four days. I fought hard for these scores.”
–Field Level Media