Day wins as Tiger returns
Jason forced to wait an extra Day
As darkness fell in San Diego on Sunday evening, there was still nothing to separate Jason Day and Alex Noren – the duo having been locked together through 72 holes of regulation golf and five sudden death play-off holes. Bad light necessitated a Monday return and on the first hole, Noren – who finished tied-sixth at Royal Birkdale last summer – bogeyed, while Day birdied to take his 11th PGA Tour title.
The Australian’s performance was even more remarkable as he recovered from a first-round 73 to shoot 64, 71 and 70 to move to ten-under and force a play-off with Noren and Ryan Palmer – who was eliminated after only parring the first extra hole, while the other two hit birdies. And the former world No.1 was ecstatic to overcome a back injury and record his first tournament win since May 2016.
“It’s been a long time coming,” said Day. “Last year wasn’t the greatest season for me and I had some stuff off the course which was a little distracting. I had an MRI a week-and-a-half ago because I was in Palm Springs and threw my back out. It’s something I have to deal with and I will always try to be on top of it.
“I’m trying to change a few things in my swing to relieve the pressure I put on my back. I put a lot of force and torque on my lower back. I’ve got to keep my core strong, try to improve and hopefully I’ll be here until I’m 40 or 45 years old.”
Woods content after coming through unscathed
He may have labelled his third round as ‘gross’ but by the conclusion of the weekend at Torrey Pines, Tiger Woods was left largely pleased with his overall performance at the Farmers Insurance Open. The three-time Champion Golfer of the Year produced a birdie on the final hole of his second round to make the cut, ensuring he played the weekend of a PGA Tour event for the first time since the Wyndham Championship in August 2015. Despite calling it ‘gross’ at the time, as he found only three of 14 fairways, Woods’ third round of 70 was his best of the tournament and he rounded out the event with a 72 to finish on three-under and in a tie for 23rd.
After ten months out following back surgery, the 42-year-old made his return in December with four rounds at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas and was ultimately satisfied with his first PGA Tour start of 2018. "I'm very pleased,” he said. “After not playing for a couple of years to come out here on the Tour and really play a solid four days, I fought hard for these scores and I'm excited to get this one under my belt.
“Overall I thought I did pretty well this week. Some of the shots I had to hit out of the rough, out of the trees, a few times I had to jack up the speed and had no issues at all. The big concern was playing out of the rough. I hadn't played out of rye grass since last year but I hit some really good ones out of there. Unfortunately, I put myself in there a lot!”
Woods is next scheduled to play the Genesis Open in Los Angeles in three weeks’ time but admits his exact plans after that are yet to be determined. “I haven't built out my schedule,” he added. “We want to see how I was swinging after one tournament and reassess where I'm at.”
Rose channels Rahm to put himself on cloud nine
One-time major winner Justin Rose secured his ninth straight top-ten finish in all tournaments worldwide as his final score of six-under was good enough for a tie of eighth. The highlight of the 2013 US Open winner’s final round was undoubtedly a remarkable birdie from 59 feet and nine inches at the par-five 18th, that didn’t technically count as a putt because it was made from the back fringe.
If Rose holing out looked familiar that’s because it was almost a mirror image of Jon Rahm’s eagle putt to win the Farmers Insurance Open last year.