That didn’t take long.
Following 2018’s longest day at a PGA Tour event, we got the shortest Monday morning when Jason Day dispatched Alex Noren on the first hole of the extended playoff at the Farmers Insurance Open.
It ended quickly at the 18th, the sixth overall hole after darkness settled in Sunday night without a winner.
Day’s first shot of the day was wide right while Noren maintained his three-wood off the tee strategy and found a good lie in the first cut of rough. Noren then went for the green with a second three wood only to see it hit midway on the bank in front of the green. It immediatly rolled into the water and Day immediately laid up to lob wedge yardage.
He then basically put it away when his third hit about five yards past the hole and spun back, settling to about 14 inches for a tap-in birdie.
Noren, forced to try and make four after the penalty, saw his screaming wedge from 40 yards go by the hole and stop 14 feet away. He missed, Day tapped in and claimed his 11th PGA Tour win.
“It’s been a long time coming,” said Day, surrounded by wife Ellie and children Lucy and Dash. “Last year wasn’t the greatest season for me. My goal is to get back to No. 1 and this is the right way to start.”
After watching Day struggle with his back in the first round, some thought he might be forced to withdraw. He looked like and 80-year-old man trying to get the ball out of the hole. But he survived the round, got treatment and improved his play each day.
“I just have to keep myself and my core strong. I had an MRI two weeks ago. I’m trying to change a few things in my swing to take some of the stress off my lower back.”
Day was all smiles, entering the winner’s circle for the first time since the 2016 Players Championship.
Sunday was a dreadful day. The lead group took six hours to play and the lowlight of it all came when J.B. Holmes took more than four minutes to play his second shot at the 18th. After going back and forth, he decided not to try and win but elected to layup. There’s been huge blowback all over the internet.
Day, Noren and Ryan Palmer tied in regulation play at 10-under par and headed for a playoff.
Palmer bowed out on the first playoff hole after both Day and Noren made birdies while Palmer settled for a par.
After going up and down 18 twice, then over to 16 and 17 then a third trip down 18, Day and Noren were still deadlocked. Day played his third shot into 18 in virtual darkness. “I couldn’t see the stick, only a bit of orange on the flag,” Day said. “I could barely see the hole for my putt,” Noren said after he hit the green in two then ran his eagle putt five feet by.”