SAN DIEGO (AP) — Marc Leishman couldn’t miss whether it was for birdie for par, racing from four shots behind with a 7-under 65 and winning the Farmers Insurance Open when Jon Rahm couldn’t match his eagle putt from three years ago.
Leishman ran off five birdies on the front nine to seize control Sunday over a fast-faltering Rahm and Rory McIlroy. He kept a cushion with three big par saves down the tough stretch at Torrey Pines and closed with a 6-foot birdie putt that turned out to be the winner.
Rahm was 4 over through five holes, the biggest mess coming at the par-3 third when he went left into the canyon and took three shots to reach the green for a double bogey. Each time he appeared to be done, the fiery Spaniard charged back.
He made eagle on the par-5 13th and birdie on the next hole. After a bogey on the 15th to fall four shots behind, Rahm stuffed his next two shots for birdies. He needed an eagle on the par-5 18th to force a playoff, and his attempt from just outside 50 feet died off to the left. Rahm closed with a 70.
Rahm won his first PGA Tour title three years ago at Torrey Pines when he closed with a 65, making a 60-foot eagle putt on the last hole that secured the victory.
This time, it was Leishman’s turn.
He matched Rahm’s 65 as the lowest closing round by a winner at Torrey Pines since the South Course was beefed up ahead of the 2008 U.S. Open.
Leishman was the second Australian to win on Australian Day, following Lucas Herbert’s playoff victory in Dubai on the European Tour earlier Sunday.
McIlroy, needing a victory to return to No. 1 in the world, started three shots behind in the final group and opened with two straight bogeys. He missed a short birdie attempt on the third, and then pulled his tee shot into the hazard and had to scramble for bogey.
Much like Rahm, he stayed in the mix by playing his last five holes on the front nine in 5 under. McIlroy couldn’t make up enough ground, shot 69 and tied for third with Brandt Snedeker (68).
Tiger Woods, trying to set the PGA Tour record with his 83rd career victory, never got anything going. Woods had to settle for a 70 and tied for ninth, six shots behind.
BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) — Madelene Sagstrom won the Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio for her first LPGA Tour title, birdieing the par-3 17th to tie for the lead and winning with a par when Nasa Hataoka missed a 3-footer on the last.
Sagstrom finished with a 2-under 70 for a 17-under 271 total at rain-softened Boca Rio Golf Club.
Hataoka shot 69. The Japanese player birdied Nos. 15 and 16 to take the lead, then fell into a tie when Sagstrom birdied the 17th and lost with the bogey on the par-4 18th.
Hataoka also finished second last week in the season-opening Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions, losing to Gaby Lopez on the seventh extra hole in a Monday finish.
Sagstrom bogeyed two of the first five holes, then rebounded with birdies on Nos. 8, 10 and 11 — chipping in on 10. She made a 4-footer for birdie on 17, then saved par from 5 feet on 18,
The 27-year-old Swede and former LSU star opened with a 72, shot a career-best 62 on Friday to take a one-stroke lead and doubled her advantage Saturday with a 67.
The tournament was the first official event in Boca Raton since the 1989 Oldsmobile LPGA Classic.
DUBAI DESERT CLASSIC
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Lucas Herbert marked Australia Day in his native country by capturing his first professional title, beating Christiaan Bezuidenhout of South Africa on the second hole of a playoff in the Dubai Desert Classic.
Herbert rolled in a birdie putt from 2 feet at the 18th on his third trip up the par-5 last at Emirates Golf Club, after Bezuidenhout failed to get up and down from the back of the green for his own birdie.
The 24-year-old Herbert dedicated his victory to the people back home battling Australia’s unprecedented wildfire crisis.
Herbert and Bezuidenhout both shot 4-under 68 to come from six shots behind at the start of the final day to finish at 9-under 279, two strokes clear of Tom Lewis (74), Dean Burmester (72) and Adri Arnaus (70).
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