’Twas Jason’s day to shine | Inquirer Sports

’Twas Jason’s day to shine

/ 05:05 AM February 01, 2018


SACRAMENTO—Filipino-Australian Jason Day, formerly ranked golf’s No. 1 player, performed like he was the game’s top dog again Monday.

Day sank a gimme birdie putt on the sixth playoff hole to defeat Alex Noren, the silent Swede, and claim the Farmers Insurance Open on No. 18 at Torrey Pines Golf Course near San Diego.


Day and Noren battled through five playoff holes Sunday before officials halted their sudden-death pairing at twilight time on account of darkness.


The players had to return in the morning to a virtual ghost town at the course laid out on a promontory overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Spectators weren’t allowed in because organizers said they didn’t have time to arrange for security.

Day teed off a few minutes past 8 a.m. and scored the winning putt 13 minutes later. He launched a wedge shot 10 yards past the flag stick and watched as his ball rolled back to within 18 inches from the cup to set up his tap for birdie.

Attempting to win for the first time on the US tour, Noren, with nine European circuit wins, tried to reach the par-5 18th green with a nearly perfect shot from over 250 yards. But his ball hit a slope in front of the green and went into the water. He ended up with a bogey and the loss.

“It’s special for me to be able to win here again,” Day, who recorded his first PGA Tour victory since the 2016 Players Championship, told reporters in an interview broadcast by the Golf Channel. “I first came over here as a junior and won the Junior World Championships, and being able to win in 2015 propelled me to a really great year.”

“Obviously, the preparation and the hard work over the holidays has really paid off early, so I need to make sure I stay on top of that.”

Day, who finds inspiration in his Visayan mom Dening, who had a successful lung cancer surgery last year, earned $1.24 million after the playoff that was the longest in the tournament’s 50-year history at Torrey Pines.


In contrast to Sunday’s sea of fans, including Fil-Ams and their shouts of encouragement, Day notched his 11th PGA tour win before a small crowd. This included print and television cameramen and about two hundred diehards and club members on a workday. Also on hand was Day’s wife Ellie and their two children.

CBS aired Sunday’s last round, but had to switch to the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles before the playoffs started among Day, Noren and Ryan Palmer, who was eliminated on the first extra hole.

After his second Farmers Insurance title, Day said he feels he should be winning again despite a long break from competition.

He is coming off a 2017 season with only five top-10 finishes and saw his world ranking drop to 14th after staying at No. 1 for 51 weeks.

It is business as usual at the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines, whose president, Ricky Vargas, is raring to face Philippine Olympic Committee president Jose “Peping” Cojuangco in a new POC elections ordered by a Pasig Regional Trial Court on Feb. 23.

In his usual annoying stance, Cojuangco has not uttered a word if he will abide by the court ruling or ask for a restraining order. (In a ruling Tuesday, the Court of Appeals denied the POC’s request to stop the court-ordered elections.)

Meantime, the Abap, through executive director Edgar Picson, reports that it plans to appeal a decision by the POC to field only Southeast Asian Games gold and silver medalists in the Jakarta Asian Games in August.

With this edict from Asiad chief of mission Julian Tamayo, only two boxers—SEA Games gold medalist Eumir Felix Marcial and silver medalist Mario Fernandez—would be able to book a ticket to the Games.

The other SEA Games gold medal winner, light-heavyweight John Marvin, is out of the competition because Asiad organizers have scrapped the 81kg and above categories.

“In the first place, only 6 of the regular 13 Olympic boxing events were held in the SEAG in Kuala Lumpur,” according to Picson by e-mail.

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He said although there were no qualifying events for the Asiad, “we have several other boxers who we feel are qualified to participate.”

TAGS: Golf, Jason Day

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