Jason Day and Alex Noren went 77 holes in the Farmers Insurance Open, and it still wasn’t enough to decide a winner.
Day holed a 6-foot birdie putt in the dark on the fifth hole of a sudden-death playoff Sunday. Noren followed with a 5-foot birdie putt on the par-5 18th hole at Torrey Pines in San Diego. They had no choice but to return Monday morning to decide the longest playoff in the 67-year history of this event.
They each made birdie three times on the par-5 closing hole in the playoff. They made pars on the 16th and 17th holes, with Day having the best chance to end it on the par-3 16th until his 12-foot putt stayed on the right edge.
Ryan Palmer began the playoff with them at 10-under 278. He was eliminated with a par on the 18th on the first extra hole.
Day closed with a 2-under 70. Palmer hit wedge to 2 feet for birdie for a 72 to get into the playoff. Noren had a 12-foot birdie attempt in regulation.
By then, Tiger Woods was long gone.
It was the third playoff in three weeks on the PGA Tour, all of them lasting at least four holes. And while it was entertaining, thousands of fans weren’t around to see it. They left after Woods finished his round. In only his second PGA Tour event since August 2015, Woods closed with a 72 and tied for 23rd, seven shots out of the lead.
Woods said he was encouraged, and it was hard to argue considering he was returning from his fourth back surgery. He at least was closer to the fairway in the final round, but hit only three fairways for the third straight day.
‘‘I got a lot out of my rounds,’’ Woods said. ‘‘The short game wasn’t something I was worried about. I knew what I could, what I’ve been doing at home. That wasn’t going to be an issue. It was going to be, ‘Can I shoot low scores?’ I didn’t, but I grinded out some good rounds.’’
The fifth playoff hole was nearly too dark to play. Day played a wedge to 6 feet behind the hole and had to rely on the crowd’s cheering.
‘‘I can’t see it,’’ he said to his caddie.
Noren played a 3-wood off the tee and a hybrid onto the green. His eagle putt for the win raced 5 feet by, and the Swede calmly rolled it in, as he had done so often over the final two hours Sunday.
‘‘It’s too dark. I could barely see the last putt,’’ Noren said. ‘‘But it’s very enjoyable. This is what I play for.’’
Video: Tiger Woods distracted by fan on swing:
Tiger Woods missed the putt and was NOT happy after a fan screamed, ?Get in the hole!? pic.twitter.com/RL7D6PtJV6— Sporting News (@sportingnews) January 28, 2018
LPGA — Brittany Lincicome beat darkness — with help from floodlights on the Ocean Club’s 18th green — to win the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic in Paradise Island for the second straight year.
Lincicome birdied the final two holes and four of the last five for a 7-under 65 and a two-stroke victory over Wei-Ling Hsu in the event cut to 54 holes after wind wiped out play most of Friday.
European — Haotong Li held off Rory McIlroy to win the Dubai Desert Classic in the United Arab Emirates by a single stroke, denying the Northern Irishman’s bid to win his first title in 17 months. Haotong finished on a tournament record 23-under-par 265 after a final-round three under 69 to win by one shot over McIlroy, who also shot a 69.