Saturday, December 16, 2017
Golf

Stallings wins PGA's Farmers Insurance Open

SAN DIEGO — Scott Stallings was in the 18th fairway at Torrey Pines, 222 yards from the front of the green, needing birdie to give himself a shot at outright victory Sunday in the Farmers Insurance Open. That's when his caddie told him, "Let's see what you've got."

Above all, he had experience.

One year and one week ago, Stallings was in a similar situation at the Humana Challenge. He hit a 6-iron from 220 yards, forgetting to account for a hanging lie until the ball sailed left and bounded into the water, the final mistake on a day he blew a five-shot lead.

He didn't make the same mistake twice.

Stallings hammered a 4-iron that narrowly cleared the water and set up two putts from 40 feet for birdie. It gave him 4-under 68 and a one-shot lead that turned into a victory when no one could catch him.

"I don't think one would happen without the other," said Stallings, who finished at 9-under 279. "I actually thought about 18 at Humana the whole time on 18 (Sunday). 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.' "

His final birdie capped off a wild day at Torrey Pines. Nine players had a share of the lead at one point. Eight still had a reasonable chance in the final hour of the PGA Tour event.

Stallings emerged the winner with one big shot, and now he's headed back to the Masters.

K.J. Choi had the best score of the week on the South Course with 66 and was among five players who tied for second.

Gary Woodland appeared to have the best chance to catch Stallings. He was one shot behind — with plenty of length to reach the 18th in two — until he chose fairway metal off the tee on No. 17 and hooked it into the canyon. He felt he had to make his 45-foot par putt to have a chance and three-putted for double bogey. Woodland, who had a one-shot lead after three rounds, closed with 74.

LPGA: Jessica Korda won the season-opening Bahamas Classic in Paradise Island for her second tour title, holing a 6-foot birdie putt on the final hole to beat Stacy Lewis by a stroke. Korda, 20, closed with 7-under 66 for 19-under 273 on Atlantis Resort's Ocean Club course. Seminole's Brittany Lincicome (68) finished at 12-under 280, Tampa resident Kristy McPherson (69) at 282 and Tampa's Cindy LaCrosse (77) at 291.

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