Alex Noren, the 2016 Scottish Open champion, had the consolation of recording his best finish on the PGA Tour after eventually succumbing to Jason Day at the sixth extra hole in the Farmers Insurance Open.
A play-off that had also included Ryan Palmer before he bowed out at the 19th spilled into yesterday due to darkness, with Day coming out on top in the end to claim his second success in the event at Torrey Pines.
The Australian prevailed with a birdie as the pair played the par-5 18th for a fourth time, with Noren seeing his hopes of a first victory on the US circuit disappear as his second shot ran back into the water short of the green.
“It’s been a long time coming,” said Day as he celebrated his first victory since the 2016 Players Championship, having slipped to 14th in the world rankings after being No 1 for a spell. “Last year wasn’t the best of seasons for me. I had some stuff off the course like my mother having cancer that was distracting.
“Earlier this week I didn’t think I was going to play because of my back and to win is special because I worked really hard in the off season to get back into this position. My goal is always to get back to No 1 and this is a good start in the right direction.”
For Noren, this encouraging effort was a step in the right direction in his bid to play in a Ryder Cup for the first time in Paris later this year. “I learnt a lot this week and feel proud of myself for stepping up,” said the Swede.
On the ladies’ front, European captain Catriona Matthew will find out today who her opposite number will be for the 2019 Solheim Cup at Gleneagles. The Team USA captain is being announced around 1pm UK time, with Juli Inkster being tipped for a third stint on the trot.
Matthew was appointed as Annika Sorenstam’s successor last September and will be bidding to win back the trophy on home soil after Europe lost 16.5-11.5 in Des Moines.
Meanwhile, the newly-branded Staysure Tour will have two stops in Scotland this year. The Senior Open is being staged at St Andrews for the first time on 26-29 July while a venue has yet to be confirmed for the Scottish Senior Open on 14-16 September.