Culver City Observer -

By Fred Altieri
Sports Reporter 

Tiger Looks Good As LA Tournament Approaches

 

February 2, 2018

Jevone Moore

2018 Farmers Open winner - Jason Day

The City of San Diego delivered for the PGA Tour once again. It took six playoff holes and an extra day for Jason Day to win the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines Golf Course in La Jolla, San Diego.

Even better news for the Tour and more importantly for the fans was the encouraging return of Tiger Woods, who played pain-free for the first time since anyone could last remember.

Day birdied the par-5 18th hole on the South Course to outlast Alex Noren and win his second title at one of golf's most scenic locations. He won shortly after 8 a.m. locally on Monday due to suspension of play following five playoff holes after Sunday's fourth round that featured Day, Noren and Ryan Palmer.

"Well, I was up all last night. I thought the way myself and Alex played in that playoff stretch going shot to shot, I was a little nervous coming out today because I know how much of a good player he is," said Day following the clinching putt.

"He won four times last year... Although you haven't heard much of him over here, in Europe you know a lot of him. He's a very tough competitor, so I just knew coming out I had to be on top of it."

Day came from three strokes behind beginning the fourth round to tie Noren and Palmer for first at 10-under par, 278. Palmer was knocked out after the first playoff hole as Day and Noran played the next four playoff holes in virtual darkness before play was suspended at 5:34 p.m. on Sunday. The six-hole playoff was the longest in the tournament's 67-year history.

"Yeah, I mean it was a lot of fun, we played good and he was inside of me a few times and I had a chance, my chances but then he stepped up. So it was, yeah, it was a lot of fun but I would love to have won it," said Noren.

Day joined eight others who had won the tournament multiple times that originated as the San Diego Open in 1952. Local favorite-son Phil Mickelson has finished first three times while Tommy Bolt, Arnold Palmer, Steve Pate, J.C. Snead, Brandt Snedeker and Tom Watson have won it twice. Dominating Torrey Pines is Woods who has taken the trophy home seven times beginning in 1999.

Under ideal weather conditions the fans came out in droves to hopefully see the resurgence of Tiger. They were not disappointed. Tiger received a rousing standing ovation after he birdied his final hole of the second round to just make the cut at -1. It turned into a dramatic finish as Tiger fell three shots short of the cut with nine holes to play on Friday.

But three birdies on the back nine brought the gallery to a roar before Tiger suffered a bogey at the par-3 eighth hole on the North Course. Sheer will and a reliable putter made the cut as he two-putted from 90 feet on the par-5 ninth hole. Despite the modest accomplishment Tiger was struggling with his approach shots and an unreliable driver.

Jevone Moore

A healthy Tiger Woods blasts from the bunker during the final round at Torrey Pines

Tiger, after the second round: "I've been away from it for a very long time. It's nice to get out there and compete and play. I'm still getting used to my feels, but that just takes more time under the fire. I still need more rounds under my belt."

Remarkably, Tiger finished at minus-3, tied for 23rd out of the 77 players who made the cut. The great news for local SoCal fans is that Tiger will be ready to tee it up in a few weeks for the Genesis Open at the renowned Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, February 15-18. His company, TGR Live, took over control of the tournament last year.

Tiger after his final round on Sunday: "I fought hard for these scores. These weren't yawners, down the middle, on the green, two-putt and one-hand all your second putts in the hole. These were fighting, I had to fight for every score on every hole and sometimes those are more pleasing than the boring rounds. It showed that I had heart. I fought my tail off and it was good stuff."

 

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