Golf

Farmers Insurance Open 2015: Jason Day pulls out victory in 4-man playoff

SAN DIEGO–It was a perfect day for golf at Torrey Pines. The crowd was large, the weather was a perfect 67 degrees and the sun was shining bright off of the Pacific Ocean.

And boy, what a fourth round it turned out to be.

Co-leaders J.B. Holmes and Harris English both played a dramatic final round, and through the front nine it didn’t seem like either of them were on their game.

Holmes had three bogeys in the first six holes, but bounced with three birdies to remain even heading into the back nine. English, however, finished the front nine with bogeys on the fourth and sixth hole and went into the back nine minus-7.

While the leaders struggled, Jhonattan Vegas surged up the leaderboard. Vegas started out hot birdieing three out of the last six holes on the front nine to bring him tied with Holmes at 9-under.

But Vegas could not maintain his mental strength.

On the back nine, Vegas would hit three straight drives into the rough and it proved costly. After double-bogeying No.12, Vegas’ struggles continued as he would end up double-bogeying No.17 to drop him to minus-6. The fourth round belonged to his group mate Jason Day.

Day started out the round with eight straight pars followed by a birdie on the ninth to bring him to 8-under. But his back nine proved to be incredible. Day would have two amazing birdies, including a 47-foot putt on No.16 to bring him to minus-9.

The tournament, though, would not end that easily.

Both Holmes and English would end their rounds at even par with Scott Stallings eagleing the 13th hole to make it the first ever four-man playoff in Farmers Insurance Open history. The first hole of the playoff was the 18th, and from the first drive it was Jason Day’s tournament to lose.

Day crushed a beautiful shot off the tee and followed it with a stunning iron approach just off the green. After a chip, which put him within a couple feet from the hole, he sunk his putt for birdie.

English overshot his approach on No.18 and gave himself an extremely difficult birdie putt. Although the line was right, he came up three feet short. Stallings looked to have a fairly nice opportunity for birdie, giving himself the chance for an uphill birdie putt, but it wasn’t meant to be as it missed inches to the right.

But Holmes would make it interesting.

After getting himself into trouble, Holmes would respond brilliantly setting himself up for an easy birdie putt. Holmes and Day were headed to No.16.

On the second hole of the playoff, Holmes crushed a 6-iron on the par-3, nearly hitting the front wall of the grandstand. Day, who had already birdied the hole, hit a perfect stroke placing the ball 15 feet behind the pin. Holmes needed a miraculous chip to give himself a chance and, yet again, he overshot it, giving Jason Day an easy two putt for the victory. 

“So I — and then on the par-3, just with that pin, that’s just a really, from that tee box, it’s really just a bad hole is what it is,” said Holmes about the 16th hole. “I hate to see them put it back there for that … But I hit my 6-iron I drew it too much and it went long, I didn’t think I could get it long, went long, got my drop, and felt pretty good over the wedge shot and it just kind of jumped on me.”

When asked if he felt the edge going to hole No.16 in the playoff after birdieing the hole last time, Day told Sports Out West, “I didn’t know if I had the edge, obviously, once he hit it over the back of the green, my immediate thought was hit the green. Hit it somewhere on the green and give yourself a putt.”

And Day did just that, earning himself his third PGA Tour Victory and moving up the ranks to No.4 in the world.

Photo Credit: AP

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Maxim Garshman

Maxim Garshman is a Bay Area native who now calls San Diego home. He has an expert voice on all things NHL and NFL, and currently works as the Chargers beat writer for Sports Out West.
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