Scott Stallings wins the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in California
American birdies final hole to win by a shot from five other players
Stallings hit just four fairways in his final round but took his third PGA title
Tiger Woods missed secondary cut after shooting third round 79
Scott Stallings hit about as many fairways as Tiger Woods on Sunday but he still managed to take his third PGA Tour title.
The American was wayward off the tee in the final round of the Farmers Insurance Open, mirroring the performance of the world No. 1 who toiled on Saturday.
But unlike Woods, Stallings powers of recovery held firm as he scrambled his way to a final round of 68 to win his third PGA Tour title by a shot on nine-under.
It had looked like the 28-year-old would join a further five players tied at eight-under in a playoff until he managed to reach the par five 18th in two and record a birdie.
That anxious second over water to the 18th helped Stallings banish the memories of the Humana Challenge in 2013, when he found the lake on 18 in an error strewn final round to blow a five shot lead.
“I don’t think one would happen without the other,” Stallings told the PGA Tour’s official website. “I actually thought about 18 at Humana the whole time on 18 today.
“Not that I was like, ‘Oh, don’t hit it in the water.’ But it was, ‘Just make sure you pay attention to everything that’s going on.’
“The sad thing is I drove it pretty good but got the wrong lines. I told my caddy on 12 ‘I’m driving a lot better than it shows.’
“This is the best I’ve ever started on the west coast. It’s a huge shot in the arm for me. It’s pretty awesome to come here and win on a great course.”
Stallings’ birdie on the 18th denied five players the chance of a playoff. Australian Marc Leishman had a shot from 100 yards to tie Stallings’ score but couldn’t find the hole.
Leishman’s compatriot Jason Day also finished on eight under as did South Korean K.J. Choi, Canadian Graham DeLaet and Pat Perez, from the U.S.
The final round was notable by the absence of Woods.
A seven-time winner of the tournament, Woods survived the halfway cut by just one shot and then sunk to a seven-over-par round of 79 in the third round to miss the secondary cut.
He did not speak to the press after Saturday’s round.