Day and Leishman impress at Torrey Pines

BY Bruce Young | US PGA Tour | 2014 Farmers Insurance Open | Preview | 27 Jan 2014

Scott Stallings today won his third PGA Tour title with a one shot victory over a group of five players at the Farmers Insurance Open at the famed Torrey Pines in Jolla near San Diego.

As many as six players shared the lead with just a few holes to go and during the final round ten players had a share of lead as the event became one of the tightest final round contests in recent memory.

Stallings win was quite a surprise given his recent form. In his last twenty starts on the PGA Tour there has not been one top twenty finish for the 28 year old and with two missed cuts in two starts in the event there was nothing to suggest he would be a genuine chance to win.

He was up to the task however adding this victory to his wins at the 2011 Greenbrier Classic and the 2012 True South Classic and ensuring he will be back at Augusta National in early April.

Australians Jason Day and Marc Leishman, American Pat Perez, Korean K.J. Choi and Canadian Graham De Laet tied for second just one shot back with plenty of reasons for each of them to wonder what might have been.

Both Leishman and Day had a share of the lead at various stages throughout the back nine. Leishman bogeyed the 12th after missing the green. He hit a fine recovery but was unable to save his par and over the tough demanding South Course it was always a task to make up ground. He did however birdie the final hole to join the group in second position.

Leishman had also finished runner-up at Torrey Pines in 2010 in his second PGA Tour season.

Day had finished a little earlier on the same score but during the course of the final day he appeared as if he might just be the man to beat. Despite an early bogey he moved to four under for the day through 14 holes before a bogey at the 17th after plugging in the front bunker appeared to cost him his chance. He was able to birdie the last with a two putt birdie, his eagle putt from 50 feet looking a great chance to fall for much of the putt.

It was not to be but for Day’s first start of the season it was a great way to start the year. For both he and Leishman they will earn cheques of US$366,000 with Leishman now having earnings of close to $600,000 in just two starts this year.

Stuart Appleby and Matt Jones were the next best of the Australians when they tied for 43rd while Aaron Baddeley and Steven Bowditch made the 36 hole cut but not the one for the final day. All four will earn cheques however.

The PGA Tour will now play the Waste Management Phoenix Open in Scottsdale.

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    About the Author: Bruce Young

    A multi-award winning golf journalist, Bruce's extensive knowledge of the game comes from several years caddying the tournament circuits of the world, marketing a successful golf course design company and as one of Australia's leading golf journalists and commentators.


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