Jason Day has come up just short in his bid to end a winless drought stretching to nearly four years, finishing in a tie for third at the PGA Tour’s Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines.
The former World No.1, who has battled injuries in recent years, catapulted himself back into a share of the lead with just four holes to play but he was unable to maintain his surge.
A sensational hole-out eagle on the par-4 14th, when he spun a 119-yard wedge shot back into the hole, was followed by successive bogeys on 16 and 17 before a birdie on the last left Day one shot shy of a play-off.
He carded a final round 72 to finish at 14-under 274, alongside the top ranked Jon Rahm (71) and Cameron Tringale (70).
“I didn't feel like I had my swing feel down like I did the last three days, so I was just kind of sticking around like a bad smell, I guess,” Day said of the final day.
RIGHT: Luke List won his maiden PGA Tour title after a play-off with Will Zalatoris. PHOTO: Donald Miralle/Getty Images.
“Holed a nice shot on 14. Then kind of after that I lost the drive right and I started coming out of it and backing out of it and it's really hard to trust, especially when you stand up on 17, it's hard to trust to keep turning the corner and go left when there's all trouble level and that's why I kind of backed out of it and hit right.”
Luke List earned his first PGA Tour victory with a birdie on the first extra hole, the par-5 18th, denying fellow American Will Zalatoris what would have been his maiden success.
List began the final round five shots back of co-leaders Day and Zalatoris, and had to wait almost two hours after closing with a six-under 66 to see if he had a shot at a first big Tour win in a professional career that began in 2013.
"I really believed I could win on this course, and it's a dream come true," List, who booked his place at the Masters with the victory in his 206th career start, said.
"I told myself if I was in a play-off, I was going to make birdie."
Day was another player who really believed he could win the event, having twice before saluted in San Diego in 2015 and 2018.
"I've just got to really just keep working hard. I'm in that stage of trying to make these things more concrete and then if I can do that, then I'll be in contention lot more." - Jason Day.
But his stretch without a Tour win now extends to 75 tournaments and 1,365 days – the most recent of his 12 titles coming in May 2018 at the Wells Fargo Championship.
“I know that I'm heading in the right direction and I know that the work I've been putting into my game is starting to pay off,” Day said. “Obviously if it wasn't I wouldn't be in that position. So I know that things are looking up, I've just got to really just keep working hard. I'm in that stage of trying to make these things more concrete and then if I can do that, then I'll be in contention lot more and then the confidence comes back. Then when the confidence comes back, hopefully I win five, 10 times a year.”
Marc Leishman closed his week with a 70 to share 16th at 11-under par while Cam Davis (73, four-under) finished well down the field.
For 2021 rookie of the year Zalatoris, who signed for a final-round 71, it was a case of what could have been, having missed an eight-foot putt for the win on the final hole of regulation.
"I fought like hell all day ... The putt I hit on the 72nd hole, I thought I made it. I just needed a hair more speed," he said.
- Additional reporting by Jimmy Emanuel.