LA JOLLA, Calif. — A day after watching Jon Rahm ride a 65 to the top of the leaderboard, Australia's Marc Leishman on Sunday, Jan. 26, decided to give it a try himself, and walked away with the Farmers Insurance Open championship in La Jolla.
Leishman birdied five of his first eight holes at Torrey Pines' South Course on his way to the low round of the day with his 7-under par that put him in the clubhouse at 15-under 273 for the tournament. Leishman then watched as Rahm mounted a furious comeback, but the Spaniard ultimately fell one stroke short.
The difference in the two rounds could be seen in the course's first five holes. Leishman birdied Nos. 1, 2 and 4 while Rahm bogeyed 1 and 5 and double-bogeyed No. 3 -- a difference of seven strokes. Leishman would also birdie Nos. 6 and 8, then post two more at 11 and 13 before finishing his day bogey-birdie.
Rahm got a stroke back at No. 6 to make the turn at 3 over, then hit the gas with six holes to go. Sitting 227 yards out after his tee shot on the par-5 13th, Rahm stuck his approach within 11 feet of the pin before sinking his eagle putt. That started a run that would see him go 5 under over the final six holes. But he went to 18 knowing he needed eagle to force a playoff, but couldn't get his eagle putt to drop.
"I guess you just gotta be mentally strong," Leishman told Golf Channel after his round when asked why his putter was working while so many other players in the field struggled with theirs. "Pressure does funny things. A little bit of pressure and things can happen, and they did. The good thing about was I missed in the right spot (with his driver) and I was able to still score."
Fargo South High School graduate Tom Hoge made a charge to win his first PGA Tour event before settling for fifth place Sunday.
Hoge, who was paired with Tiger Woods and J.B. Holmes on Sunday, carded a final-round 68 to finish fifth, four strokes behind Leishman. Hoge carded rounds of 71, 71, 67 and 68.
The 30-year-old Hoge, who played collegiately at Texas Christian University, has been playing some of his best golf the past three weeks since joining the PGA Tour in 2015. He finished in a tie for 12th at the Sony Open in Hawaii two weeks ago and finished in a tie for sixth place at The American Express in La Quinta, Calif., last week.
While Hoge was playing the par-4 15, Leishman sank a birdie putt to go to 15-under and extend his lead over Hoge by four strokes. Hoge then missed a 5-foot putt, carding his first bogey on the back nine for the four-day tournament.
While Hoge carded a round of 4-under, 68 Sunday, Woods had a 70 and Holmes a 73.
Rahm finished the day 2 under, leaving him at 14 under for the tournament. Brandt Snedeker (68) and Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy (69) finished tied for third at 12 under. Tom Hoge shot a 68 to finish alone in fifth at 11 under.
Woods shot a 2-under 70, finishing in a tie for ninth at 9-under 279.
It was Leishman's fifth career Tour victory and his first since the CIMB Classic in October 2018 in Kuala Lumpur. The win also came on Australia Day in his native country.