Saturday's golf: Luke List beats Zalatoris in Farmers playoff for first win
San Diego — Luke List earned his first PGA Tour victory with a birdie on the first playoff hole at Torrey Pines on Saturday, holding off Will Zalatoris well after sunset to win the Farmers Insurance Open.
List began the final round five shots back of leaders Zalatoris and Jason Day, and had to wait nearly two hours after closing with a 6-under 66 to see if he had a shot for the first win in a career that began in 2013.
Zalatoris missed the chance to secure his own first career victory when he barely missed an 8-foot birdie putt on the par-5 18th, forcing a playoff. After both players rescued their errant playoff tee shots from a fairway bunker, List spun an exceptional 131-yard approach shot to within a foot of the cup.
After List tapped in and Zalatoris missed his 13-foot birdie putt, List celebrated in the gloaming with his wife, Chloe, while he held their daughter, Ryann.
Zalatoris and List finished regulation at 15-under 273, setting up the fourth playoff in the last 11 years at the Farmers. Zalatoris shot a nervy final-round 71, finishing with 12 straight pars.
Zalatoris, last season’s Rookie of the Year and Masters runner-up, will lament his final shot of regulation. The 8-footer left his putter straight, but slowed and hopped abruptly to the left in the final inches.
Top-ranked Jon Rahm, Jason Day and Cameron Tringale finished a shot back at 14 under, and Justin Rose was in a group of five players two shots back.
List joined Rahm as the only players to earn their first career wins at the Farmers Open.
Even as the exams change, Lydia Ko continues to provide the proper answers needed to stay in front at the Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio.
Ko opened with a 63 when conditions were prime for scoring. When temperatures dipped into the 40s on Saturday and the wind was a steady 15-20 mph with gusts as high as 33 mph, Ko was asked to survive the day. She showed she can do that, too.
Her even-par 72 — one birdie, one bogey, 16 pars — gave her a two-shot lead over Danielle Kang (74) heading into the final round of the LPGA Tour’s first full-field event of the year.
Ko was at 11-under 205.
Celine Boutier of France had the low round Saturday of 69 —arguably the best round of the young LPGA season — and climbed into contention. She was three shots behind.
The 24-year-old Ko is seeking her 17th LPGA Tour title, having won her first when she was only 15. There was a time she grew too technical with her game, harboring too many mechanical thoughts in trying to make perfect swings. But Ko won last season again (Lotte Championship) and is carrying renewed confidence, climbing back to No. 3 in the world.
There was nothing easy Saturday, when the average score of the 74 players who survived the cut was 75.136, more than three shots higher than Thursday. Stacy Lewis (72) likened the day to a British Open. Only four players broke par, only one scored in the 60s, and 33 players in the field shot 76 or higher.
Kang won the season-opening Tournament of Champions last week with a 69-68 weekend in tough, cold conditions. On Saturday at Boca Rio, however, the wheels to her game came off, at least for a spell.
Kang bogeyed the par-5 10th after making the turn at 1 under, then stumbled into back-to-back bogeys at Nos. 14 and 15. She three-putted the 14th when her 35-foot downhill putt rode the wind and finished 9 feet beyond the hole. At 15, a par 4, she played into a front bunker off a downhill lie on her second shot, blasted to 5 feet but failed to convert the putt.
Kang had to rally to make three pars on the way in to keep within striking distance of Ko. Saturday marked the first time in seven rounds this season that Kang did not score in the 60s.
The wind is not expected to be as strong Sunday as it was for the third round, though temperatures could drop into the 30s in the morning. Tee times were moved back and players will go off two tees in expectation of having frost on the course.
Rory McIlroy moved within two shots of leader Justin Harding after the third round at the Dubai Desert Classic on Saturday as the Northern Irishman tries to win the event for the third time.
McIlroy shot a 3-under 69 to get to 10 under overall at the tournament he won in 2009 and 2015. He closed the gap on Harding, who maintained his halfway advantage with a 71 at Emirates Golf Club.
On the back nine, McIlroy hit three superb second shots into par 5s that set up an eagle and two birdies. He had two other birdies on the front nine along with three bogeys on the day.
Tommy Fleetwood (69) and Erik van Rooyen (71) are both three strokes off the lead, one shot clear of a group of six that includes Paul Casey (70) and Tyrrell Hatton (73).
Harding was disappointed not to add birdies on his final two holes. He finished with two birdies and a bogey.
Three-time major champion Padraig Harrington (69) is five shots back.