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Stallings claims dramatic Torrey Pines win

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Scott Stallings holds the trophy after winning the Farmers Insurance Open golf tournament. Picture: AP Photo/Gregory Bull.

Scott Stallings holds the trophy after winning the Farmers Insurance Open golf tournament. Picture: AP Photo/Gregory Bull.

Scott Stallings holds the trophy after winning the Farmers Insurance Open golf tournament. Picture: AP Photo/Gregory Bull.

SCOTT STALLINGS birdied the last to claim a dramatic one-shot victory at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines.

The tournament looked set to go to a play-off with KJ Choi, Graham DeLaet, Jason Day, Pat Perez, and Stallings all sat on eight-under-par.

But the American birdied the par-five 18th to take him into the clubhouse at nine-under with Marc Leishman out on the course on seven-under.

The Australian needed an eagle to force the extra holes but he could not find it and Stallings was left to celebrate his third career PGA Tour win.

"I drove it very poorly," Stallings said. "I hit some good ones coming down the stretch and I hit a really bad one on 17 and managed to make a really good par.

"(On) 18, John, my caddie said 'now see what you got, you worked your butt off for this'."

The win secures Stallings' place at the Masters at Augusta and the 28-year-old is delighted to have clinched a place in the year's first major.

"That's something on everyone's to-do list as far as the PGA Tour and I'm excited to go back in April."

Stallings began the day three shots behind overnight leader Gary Woodland but reached the turn in 34 after three birdies and a bogey on the front nine. He dropped another shot on 10 but three birdies between 11 and 14 saw him surge back into contention and, despite a dropped shot on 16, his big finish sealed the win.

 

ENCOURAGING

Meanwhile, former world number two Sergio Garcia is hoping his Qatar Masters victory is an encouraging sign of good things to come for him this season.

The Ryder Cup stalwart picked up the 11th European Tour win of his career, and his 26th worldwide, by beating Finland's Mikko Ilonen at the third hole of a sudden-death play-off in Doha.

He said: "It's great to set up my year a little bit, to win again on the European Tour," said Garcia.

Of the Irish playing in Qatar, Simon Thornton finished in a tie for 43rd place on five-under-par, while Michael Hoey finished on two-under-par after a closing 74. Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley finished on one-under-par.

The final leg of the tour's three-week Desert Swing will be at the Dubai Desert Classic, starting on Thursday, with Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Henrik Stenson among the field.


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