Luke List had to hang around nearly two hours to learn his fate after he finished his final round at the Farmers Insurance Open, but the wait was well worth it.
After posting a 66 on Torrey Pines’ South Course, List’s 15-under total was enough to force a playoff with Will Zalatoris. And thanks to a dazzling wedge on the first playoff hole — from the fairway on the par-5 18th that set up a tap-in birdie — List leaves San Diego a first-time PGA Tour winner.
“It’s a whirlwind,” List said. “Still a lot of emotions going through my head, but to get that first win is definitely a relief.”
List got off to a fast start on Saturday as he went out in 32 — including four straight birdies on Nos. 3-6 — on the front nine, and he kept that momentum rolling as he made the turn. He added birdies at 12 and 16, but a costly bogey at 17 looked like it would doom his chances. However, the 37-year-old bounced back with a birdie at the 18th to post 15 under.
“It was nice to finish with a birdie,” List said. “That probably gives me a chance.”
His premonition was correct.
Zalatoris and Jason Day were the players to beat coming into Saturday’s final round, but neither could deliver a knockout blow to List as he waited around in the clubhouse and practice areas.
Day briefly matched List’s clubhouse lead when he holed out for eagle at the 14th, but bogeys on 16 and 17 eventually accounted for his undoing. The 12-time PGA Tour winner and former world No. 1 has now gone 76 starts without a win on Tour.
Zalatoris was also solid throughout the day — posting two birdies against just one bogey — but a balky putter ended up being his undoing. The 25-year-old missed several makable birdie looks on the back nine during the final round, none bigger than his eight-footer on the 72nd hole that would have given him his first Tour victory.
“I thought I made it, I just needed a hair more speed,” Zalatoris said. “I’ve seen enough putts through the years coming down that hill to know that that putt just doesn’t go left and it happened to go left.”
In the playoff, List and Zalatoris both blasted their drives into the fairway bunker on the right side of the fairway. But after List laid up just outside Zalatoris in the fairway, his immaculate wedge put the pressure on his opponent to match.
Zalatoris again gave himself a makable try to extend the playoff, but his putt slid past the hole to give List the title.