Epic Battle at the Farmers Insurance

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By : Staff writers with AFP, AAP

JASON Day remains in the hunt for his first PGA Tour title in 20 months, after an epic playoff was pushed into another day at the Farmers’ Insurance Open.

Day and Swede Alex Noren couldn’t be separated after five playoff holes at Torrey Pines, with fading light forcing organisers to halt play and resume the sudden death shootout on Monday (Tuesday morning AEDT).

American Ryan Palmer also started in a three-way playoff, but bowed out after the first hole.

Day is chasing an 11th career PGA title and first since winning the Players’ Championship in May, 2016. It would be his second win at the Farmers Insurance Open, where he also won in 2015.

Day carded a 70, in the heavy winds, to set the clubhouse lead at 10 under, and he was joined by overnight leader Noren, who battled to shoot a one-over-par 73, and Palmer (72).

The former world No.1 had his chances in a high-quality playoff, with a potentially-winning put on the fourth hole sailing just wide.

When both players birdied the par-5 18th hole as darkness fell, officials called a restart at 8am local time (Tuesday 3am AEDT).

Earlier, Tiger Woods wrapped up an encouraging return to the tour, closing with an even-par 72 to finish tied 23rd.

Woods gave his surgically fused spine its toughest test to date on the Torrey Pines South Course, where his eight PGA Tour victories include his 14th and most recent major title at the 2008 US Open.

“Today I played a lot better,” said Woods, who had four birdies and four bogeys in a round that gave him a three-under par total of 285 and a share of 23rd place.

“It was tough conditions out there,” he added of Santa Ana winds gusting across the course. “It was tough scoring.”

Woods hit just 17 of 56 greens all week, but he displayed a deft touch around the greens and solid putting to bring it in under par.

Most importantly, there was no sign of any back trouble as he looks ahead to his next scheduled start at Riviera in Los Angeles February 15-18.

“Very pleased,” said Woods, who hadn’t made the cut in a PGA Tour event since his tie for 10th at the Wyndham Championship in August of 2015.

“After not playing for a couple of years to come out here on the Tour and really play a solid four days -- I fought hard for these scores.

Next best of the Australians was Marc Leishman, who fell to six under after a 73. Brisbane native Cameron Smith finished at four under courtesy of a closing 72, while Australian Open winner Cameron Davis has plummeted down the leaderboard with an 80 to sit at three over.

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