The sudden-death playoff between Alex Noren and Jason Day to decide the $6.9 million Farmers Insurance Open is set to resume Monday at Torrey Pines Golf Course after being suspended due to darkness after five holes.
“This is something new for me to be able to go through a playoff and come back the next day,” said Day, who is playing in his third playoff in a stroke play event. He split the first two.
“We both played some pretty good golf, especially down 18 going back and forth, back and forth, which is good entertainment for the fans.”
Spectators will not be allowed on the course to watch the playoff, Peter Ripa, CEO of the Century Club of San Diego/Farmers Insurance Open announced.
“Given the security and operational realities necessary to ensure the safety of both fans and PGA Tour players alike, the Century Club of San Diego, in conjunction with the PGA Tour, has closed the competition to the general public for the Monday finish of the Farmers Insurance Open,” Ripa said.
“While not unprecedented, a Monday finish nevertheless presents unique logistical challenges. With that said, we have successfully secured the necessary operational and security-related resources in order to finish this now-77-plus hole championship, including twelve PGA Tour-trained marshals to maintain minimum playing standards for a PGA Tour event.”
The playoff is set to begin at 8 a.m. and will be televised by The Golf Channel. The winner will receive $1.242 million.
Noren led the tournament by one stroke over Ryan Palmer entering Sunday’s play, with Day three strokes behind in a seven-way tie for fifth.
Day, playing two groups ahead of Noren and Palmer, who were in the final group, took the lead with a birdie on the ninth hole — his fourth of the day — to go 4-under for the round and 12-under for the tournament.
Noren regained the lead when he birdied the ninth hole and Day bogeyed the 11th. Noren fell back into a tie with Day when he bogeyed the 12th hole. Noren’s bogey on the 14th hole briefly created a three-way tie with Day and Palmer at 10-under, which ended a hole later when Palmer bogeyed.
Day completed his round by parring the 18th hole for a 2-under 70 for the round, remaining at 10-under for the tournament. Noren had a chance to win the tournament in regulation, but missed a 13-foot, 1-inch putt for birdie on the 18th, completing the round at 1-over 73.
Palmer created a three-man playoff by sinking a 17-inch putt for a birdie on the 18th hole, completing his round at par.
Palmer was eliminated on the first playoff hole, the par-5 18th when he made par and Day and Noren both made birdies. Palmer is winless in his three playoffs on the PGA Tour.
The playoff remained on the 18th hole, with Day and Noren both made birdies. The playoff then went to the par-3 16th hole, with both golfers making par, as they did on the par-4 17th, with Day’s putt for birdie falling just inches short of the cup. The playoff went back to the 18th hole, which both golfers birdied. Play was suspended by darkness at 5:34 p.m.
The playoff “was very nice in the beginning when you could see,” said Noren, a 35-year-old from Sweden who played at Oklahoma State and mainly plays on the European Tour.
“In the end it was very tough,” Noren said. “On the last hole I could barely see.”
Noren is seeking his first PGA Tour victory. This is his 36th PGA Tour start.
Noren’s best result on the PGA Tour was tying for fifth in the 2017 World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play when he reached the quarterfinals, losing to eventual champion Dustin Johnson. His best finish in stroke play was tying for sixth in last year’s British Open. He has nine victories on the European Tour, including four in 2016.
Noren is 19th on the Official World Golf Ranking, 11 spots below his highest ranking, which came in July.
Day is a 30-year-old Australian with 10 PGA Tour victories, with the most recent coming in the 2016 Players Championship. He is 14th on the Official World Golf Ranking.
Tiger Woods shot a par-72 with four birdies and four bogeys, completing the tournament at 3-under 285, tying for 23rd with five other golfers, seven shots off the lead in his first PGA Tour event in a year.
Woods said he was “very pleased” with his performance in the first PGA Tour event he completed since the 2015 Wyndham Championship.
“I had to fight for every score on every hole and sometimes those are more pleasing than the boring rounds,” said Woods, who began the round eight strokes off the lead in a five-way tie for 39th. “It showed that I had heart. I fought my tail off and it was good stuff.”
— City News Service
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