In a truly bizarre ending, K.J. Choi missed a long par putt with no one in the stands at a weather-damaged Torrey Pines to give the Farmers Insurance Open title to Brandt Snedeker on Monday.
Snedeker defied the odds and the weather to win with a final-round 69 to reach 6-under overall. He was the only player under par in the final round and became the first golfer in five years to win an event after making the cut on the number.
The crowds were ordered to stay home Monday because of potential damage from debris. On Sunday, Snedeker had played a round for the ages, avoiding winds that reached 50 miles per hour. The average fourth-round score was 77.9, the fourth-highest since that stat began being kept in 1983.
The wind took out 12 trees at the course, including a 60-foot eucalyptus on No. 15. The wind sent scores going everywhere. Jimmy Walker was leading after 10 holes at 7-under, then made four bogeys on his last eight holes.
Snedeker was just 1-under through two holes to narrowly make the cut. He shot 70-69 the rest of the way, the next-best round was Kevin Streelman’s 72-74.
Choi started off the tournament 68-67, putting him eight strokes ahead of Snedeker entering Saturday. He bogeyed two of the first four holes, birdied No. 6, then played 3-over the rest of the way.
The real story of how bad the weather got could be seen in the fourth-round of Dustin Johnson and Hiroshi Iwata. Both men were 6-under entering the final round, and both shot 8-over Iwata was 3-over through five, birdied No. 8, then came undone on the back nine with six bogeys, five of them in a row.
Johnson’s disaster started quickly as he shot a 42 on the front nine and had reached 9-over through 12 holes. He birdies three holes down the stretch to prevent the worst round of his career.