For the third week in a row, golf fans were treated to bonus golf with Alex Noren, Jason Day and Ryan Palmer squaring off in a 3-man playoff to resolve the Farmers Insurance Open. In the end, Jason Day prevailed in six holes.
The win wasn’t without some drama — Palmer’s par wasn’t enough to continue on after the first playoff hole, but Day and Noren continued after matching birdies on Torrey Pines famous 18th hole — and continued, all the way into Monday morning.
For Day, the win was his 11th on the PGA Tour.
While three men dueled for the victory late on Sunday, there were plenty of players who fell somewhere between them and Smylie Kaufman.
Here’s a look at those who are sad to be leaving Southern California — and those who more than happy to be setting sail:
Alex Noren — For many, Alex Noren entered the week as a relative unknown. Thanks to his career taking place almost exclusively on the European Tour, there weren’t too many with the 19th ranked player in the world on their fantasy lineups last week. That said, you’ve got to believe he won’t be off the radar again after his performance at the Farmers. Noren hit big shots in big spots, rolled in pressure putts and made ballsy plays when the spotlight was brightest. Expect these kinds of performances to continue in the future.
Jason Day — If it seems like it’s been a while since Jason Day pulled into victory lane on the PGA Tour, that’s because it has. Almost 46 months have gone by since the 2016 PLAYERS Championship — the last tournament Day won before last week’s Farmers Insurance Open. Now, lets be clear — no one has forgotten just how good the Aussie is or can be, so his performance at Torrey Pines wasn’t exactly a shock. What was also great to see was the performance under pressure form Day, who birdied the 18th at Torrey Pines all four times in the playoff. Going forward, you can trust Day once more in all fantasy formats.
J.B. Holmes — I’ll be honest — I had to re-write this whole portion on J.B. Holmes at zero hour. After spending most of the day on Sunday in serious contention for the win at the Farmers, Holmes stumbled, stuttered, bumbled, etc., on the back nine on Sunday en route to a final-round 72 and a solo 4th place finish. For fantasy players who took a shot on the big Kentucky boy, it was still a solid showing — but if it weren’t for three bogeys and a blown shot at reaching Torrey Pines famous 18th in three, it could have been so much better.
John Rahm — Entering the week, it seemed like no one had a shot at beating John Rahm. After four rounds at Torrey Pines, Rahm still looks like a fantasy stud, but there are more chinks in the armor than he led on in previous weeks. The 23-year-old Spaniard entered play Thursday with a chance to win back-to-back weeks and defend his Farmers Insurance Open title from one years ago AND become World No. 1 with a win. It looked like he was in shape to do just that, too after rounds of 68 and 66 on Thursday and Friday. Unfortunately, he stumbled when the wind got up on the weekend, mustering rounds of just 75 and 77.
Tiger Woods — I wouldn’t really call Tiger Woods’ return a “bogey,” but I couldn’t exactly bring myself to put a guy who finished T-23 in the “aces” portion of the piece. All in all, it was a great week for Tiger as far as his comeback goes, and certainly a win for fantasy owners who took a gamble on the 14-time major champion. For Woods, the expectations were certainly low and he exceeded those — but can he be trusted in the fantasy world going forward? I, for one, want to see a larger sample size before signing off.
Ted Potter, Jr. — There weren’t many who took him, but those he did gamble on former PGA Tour winner Ted Potter, Jr. spent most of the evening Thursday thinking they had pulled one over on the fantasy gods following his wonderful Thursday 66. Unfortunately, the real Ted Potter, Jr. showed up the next three rounds, relegating the 18-hole runner-up to a T-73 finish.
Brian Harman — Last week, I wrote that Brian Harman has apparently cooled off a little. Last week, he went ice cold. Harman stumbled around Torrey Pines on Thursday and Friday with rounds of 77 and 74 in conditions that could be called benign. The missed cut was Harman’s first of the campaign and surely won’t be his last — but I don’t think players should be shying away. Everyone is entitled to an off week and Harman’s is in the past.