Jason Day, Alex Noren headed for Monday finish after five playoff holes at the Farmers Insurance Open
Sean M. Haffey
In keeping with the theme of the early part of the 2018 PGA Tour season, the Farmers Insurance Open went to a sudden-death playoff. Only this time, overtime is spilling beyond the weekend.
Jason Day and Alex Noren went five extra holes on Sunday at Torrey Pines—each making three birdies along the way—before the duo finally ran out of daylight at the par-5 18th. They'll resume play on Monday on the sixth playoff hole at 11 a.m. ET, 8 a.m. local time.
Day, 30, was the first to get to the clubhouse at 10-under 278 thanks to a final-round two-under 70 that featured four birdies and two bogeys. Noren and Ryan Palmer came in two groups later, with Noren making par and Palmer making birdie to force a three-man playoff. Noren's par gave the 54-hole leader a one-over 73, while the clutch birdie from Palmer capped an even-par 72.
On the first playoff hole, Palmer was eliminated with a par, and the Day and Noren show began. The duo matched each other shot for shot, going birdie-birdie twice at the par-5 18th, and then each making pars at the par-3 16th and par-4 17th. Despite having little sun light left, they continued to grind away, going back to the par-5 18th, with Noren hitting the green in two and Day nearly jarring his approach shot from the fairway for an eagle in the dark.
"I couldn't even see the flag really. I could barely see the yellow, and it was starting to get cool, so I didn't really know how hard to hit it," Day said. "I just got up and kind of saw the yellow a bit and hit it, and I said 'sit', but I didn't know where I was. Glad to get a birdie there."
After Noren's two-putt and Day's clutch make, officials told them a sixth playoff hole would have to wait until the morning. That didn't seem to be an issue for Day, who continues to search for his first victory since the 2016 Players Championship.
"I'm just going to try and get some rest tonight and, I'll play all day tomorrow if I need to to get the win," he said. "This is why we practice, it's a lot of fun to be out here amongst the crowds and I'm having a lot of fun out here.
For Noren, his shot at his first PGA Tour title, to go with his nine European Tour wins, will have to wait as well, which the Swede was perfectly content with.
"This is what I play for, so I'm excited," he said. "It's better this way then maybe missing a short one when you can't see."
As for Palmer, he didn't come away with a victory, but it was still a successful week for the three-time PGA Tour winner after a year of struggles on and off the course. "No bad feelings right now," Palmer said. "I'm ecstatic with where my game's at. Everything's good on the home front, which is nice, so, we're doing great."
The T-2 finish is Palmer's best on tour since 2016 at Colonial, where he finished T-3.
It looked like it might be J.B. Holmes tournament when he opened with consecutive birdies on Sunday, but three bogeys on the 14th, 15th and 16th holes were too much to overcome. The four-time PGA Tour winner finished with a final-round even-par 72, leaving him at nine-under 279, one stroke from earning a spot in the playoff. Holmes' solo fourth finish comes in just his third start of the season, and it's his best result since the 2016 Open Championship, where he came in solo third.
Finishing in solo fifth at eight-under 280 was Keegan Bradley, who carded a final-round two-under 70 that included an eagle-two at the par-4 15th from 190 yards away in the fairway. Had it not been for three consecutive bogeys prior to his hole-out, Bradley may have found himself in a playoff with a chance to win for the first time since the 2012 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. But the 2011 PGA champion will still be pleased with another strong result, his second in the top 5 this season, the first coming in October at the CIMB Classic, where he finished in solo second.
Charles Howell III finished in a tie for sixth with Tony Finau at seven-under 281 after posting a three-under 69 on Sunday, matching Hideki Matsuyama for the low round of the day. He's now finished T-7 or better six times in his career at Torrey Pines.
Justin Rose, Marc Leishman, Harris English and Robert Garrigus tied for eight at six-under 282. Tiger Woods, who shot a final-round even-par 72, finished T-23 at three-under 285.