“Best & Worst at Torrey Pines”
It was a ‘Shootout at Sunset’ on Sunday at Torrey Pines, an hour after it appeared to be ‘Self Destruct Sunday’ nw the course.
Such was the day at the Farmers Insurance Open, a tourney that is not over.
Jason Day tees off at 8am against Swedish star Alex Noren after 5-holes of golf that took us into the darkness in LaJolla. Show me what you can do on the 6th extra hole.
What a day.
As we went to the 13th hole on Sunday…there was a four way tie. What happened on the final 4-holes was like bad theatre.
JB Holmes fell apart, spraying shots here-there and everywhere. He shot himself out of the tourney, and aggravated the gallery in the process. Bogeys as 15-16-17. Shots in the rough, shots out of bounds, and then a near 5-minute delay on the 18th hole, trying to choose a club, for what would wind up being an errant shot. There were boos from the fans and even criticism from the CBS broadcast team.
Ryan Palmer went bogey-bogey at 14 and 15, put a shot into a tree, put another into the rough, but did make enough shots at the end to get into the playoff.
Day, who had an amazing 8-under par day on Friday, started fast on Sunday, reeling off 4-birdies on the front nine. But he could not pull away from the pack late.
Noren was tops all weekend with greens in regulation, and wasn’t bad with the putter either, saving pat at 16-and-17, and then rallying to stay alive after his shot on 18 went over the green into the CBS broadcast location.
In the playoffs, Day ran around the ring of fire. He had 2-shots into bunkers off the tee….he missed an eagle putt on a playoff hole….and then had a long putt get to the lip of the cup on 5th extra hole on that could have won it.
Noren put those sudden death playoff shots into special places, one at the top of the green that rolled back towards the cup….a shot into and out of a bunker….and what seemed tobge pressure putt after pressure putt, that he sank..
Late afternoon brought challenges to the survivors. Gusty winds impacting shots off the tees and across the canyon. Cross winds that rolled putts in different directions.
Day having to take a shot off the tee into a blazing sun glaring in his eyes. And on the final playoff hole, a tee short onto a darkened green, that he could not see nor read.
Oh there were other storylines.
Tiger Woods scrambled all weekend. Bad iron shots, a shaky putter, and then going just 3-for-14 on fairway shots both Saturday and Sunday Yet playing 4-rounds for the first time since 2015, coming off 3-back surgeries in 14-months, he finished even par, very respectable.
Phil Mickelson got hot then went cold. Charley Hoffman could not survive a bad day at the office. Jon Rahm had one round go sideways to take him out of the running.
But it was as wild a Sunday as you could want, and there will be a Monday worth watching.
Sadly, the fans won’t be admitted to watch what happens on Monday. Closed to all but the working media, but it will be on TV, and that was a special Jim Nance-Nick Faldo led telecast.
Don’t know if it will birdies or bogeys at breakfast, but we’ll find out from Jason Day and Alen Noren starting at 8am.