LA JOLLA, California (Reuters) - Australian Jason Day won the Farmers Insurance Open in a four-man sudden-death playoff, outlasting Americans J.B. Holmes, Harris English and defending champion Scott Stallings at Torrey Pines on Sunday.
After English and Stallings bowed out when they could not make birdie at the opening playoff hole, Day claimed his third U.S. PGA Tour victory with a tap-in par putt at the second extra hole, the par three 16th, when Holmes made bogey.
The 27-year-old, who had made a critical 50-foot birdie at the 16th in regulation, will now move to world number four.
He is the first Australian to win at Torrey Pines and just the third international player to win the tournament.
“It sounds good to be the champion,” Day said. “It is an amazing feeling. I just kept visualizing myself holding the trophy. I’m really proud of myself.”
Day, who tied for ninth in 2013 and was equal second in 2014 at Torrey Pines, shot a two-under-par 70 to finish nine-under for the tournament.
Holmes and English were even-par 72 for the final round with Stallings shooting a 69.
Day came to the par five 18th with a share of the lead but went long with his second shot into thick rough, then watched his chip run off the green and just a foot from a water hazard.
He managed to get up and down for par to join Stallings with the clubhouse lead and then stood by as Holmes and English joined them.
English had a chance to win from a greenside bunker and Holmes had a 19-foot birdie opportunity but both were unable to convert.
Day had made the turn just one off the lead but a three-putt bogey on the 10th hole left him falling backwards.
Back-to-back birdies at 15 and 16 catapulted him into contention.
Holmes sat 10-under through 13 holes but a bogey on 14 pulled him back into the logjam.
English looked out of sorts on the front side, collecting two bogeys, but a chip-in birdie on the 10th turned his tournament around.
Two more birdies in his next three holes followed but bogeys at 14 and 15 meant he needed to birdie 18 to reach the playoff.
Stallings bogeyed his opening hole and seemingly was a non-entity but birdied the sixth and ninth holes to remain on the periphery.
A great eagle on the 13th catapulted the American into contention.
Editing by Gene Cherry