The tournament might have had the name “Farmers Insurance Open”, but on Sunday a U.S. Open broke out at Torrey Pines during the final round.
So when Jason Day survived a four-way playoff with Harris English, JB Holmes, and Scott Stallings it felt more like he was merely the last man standing then the champion.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” Day said to reporters after the win. ”I’ve been working so hard for this. I was visualizing myself holding the trophy, just like I did at the Match Play. I’m really proud of myself to hang in there and grind it out.”
The four man playoff started on the 18th hole and after pars from Stallings and English, it was down to just Holmes and Day. The two then moved to the par 3 16th where Day hit a 5-iron to about 15 feet and Holmes went over the green. Holmes then chipped to 15 feet but missed his par putt. Meanwhile, Day two-putter for his par and third PGA Tour victory.
The South Course claimed many golfers at the top of the leader board in the final round. So much so that the final six threesomes combined to shoot 32 over par.
“This golf course is hard on calm days and the wind picked up coming in today,” said Charles Howell III, who shot a 68, to reporters after his round. “Starting at 14, it’s got a lot of teeth in it today. I think there’s more rough than the 2008 U.S. Open here. The greens are bouncy, a lot bouncier than we’re used to seeing them.”
Day was among seven players who had at least a share of the lead on a Sunday that was more about survival than anything else. It was the first time that a single-digit score under par, 9-under, won on the PGA Tour since Justin Rose won at Congressional last summer with a score of 4-under.
For Day, it was only the second stroke play event won on the PGA Tour (he also won the Match Play in 2014). Talent has never been an issue with Day. The biggest issue so far in his eight year career has been staying healthy. If he can stay healthy long term there is no question that Day can be one of the top golfers in the world.
”It’s a good start to the year,” Day said. ”Hopefully, I can stay healthy.”
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