The Farmers Insurance Open marked the third straight weekend with a playoff on the PGA Tour which is a rare occurrence. Jason Day, Alex Noren, and Ryan Palmer were tied at the end of 72 holes and all headed to a playoff. Palmer had bowed out after one hole.
Noran and Day continued the epic battle so far that they couldn’t decide it on Sunday. After five playoff holes, the tournament was called for darkness. On Monday morning, when the sun had risen, it only took Day one hole to claim his first championship in over a year.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Day said.
Day was able to birdie the par-4 18th to lock up the tournament.
Last year had been a tough one for Day. Between his wife suffering a miscarriage and his mom getting sick but since improving, Day had fallen from No. 1 in the world rankings down to 14th. His last win had come at the Players Championship in 2016. This was his second win at the Farmers Insurance Open. The win boosts Day back to 8th in the world.
“Last year wasn’t the greatest season for me,” Day said. I had some stuff off course that was a little distracting with my mother obviously having cancer. It’s special because I worked very hard in the offseason to get back to this position.”
There were questions whether Day was even going to participate in the event after pulling out of the pro-am on Wednesday due to a bad back. His first round was not sexy by any means but his next three days made it possible for him to be in contention to win.
“I didn’t realize I had a chance this week,” Day said. “Going back to earlier this week, I never thought was going to actually play because of my back. I’m very thankful for my whole team. We had to stay patient. The goal as always is to get back to No. 1. This is a step in the right direction.”
With the victory, Day ties Jordan Spieth with 11 wins on Tour since 2010. That is third in that span behind Dustin Johnson (15) and Rory McIlroy (13).
Before the playoff Sunday, J.B. Holmes served up some controversy. He had an approach shot of 238 yards after his tee shot. He deliberated for four minutes over what club to use and decided to lay up about 60 yards away from the hole despite needing an eagle to tie Day. It left Noren, his playing partner, waiting for an extended amount of time. Noren only needed a birdie to win.
Tiger Woods finished T-23 at 3-under 285 in his return to the PGA Tour.