Stallings takes the prize

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Scott Stallings started the tournament ranked 112th in the official world rankings and ended the week ranked 54th and an automatic place in this Masters tournament. Gary Woodland was the leader going into the final round of the Farmers Insurance at Torrey Pines and the big hitting American never really stretched his lead throughout. As the day progressed a total of ten players had a share for the lead at some point during the day, with players such as K.J.Choi shooting an immaculate 6 under par to be clubhouse leader early on. He remained clubhouse leader for most of the day with many of the final groups unable to make a move as birdies were often followed with bogeys. With six players tied for first place on 8 under par, the only move made by any player was Scott Stallings who birdied the par 5 eighteenth to move to 9 under par and put himself in the driving seat with the final few groups doing everything for just a single birdie.

Stallings began the day three shots behind fellow American Gary Woodland who looked in good form. Stallings got off to a slow start and looked to be hidden amongst the trailing pack after the first seven holes. Birdies at eight and nine soon change his misfortunes which took him just one behind the lead but still seen as the dark horse after the turn. A bogey at the tenth pulled him back slightly but never out of contention. With none of the leaders making any sort of advance on the lead, Stallings recovered well with three birdies in four holes from the eleventh which saw him take the outright lead on 9 under par and in command. Until the par 3 16th, which was only playing 190 yards but was still causing people problems, even with it being the fourth easiest hole. Stalling could only manage a bogey which took him back into the pack on 8 under par. An easy par on 17th meant he had to birdie the last two take the outright lead and he did. The par 5 was no trouble for the American but it could’ve gone a different way as he a bit of luck with his approach into the green. The eighteenth green his surrounded by two bunkers and a water hazard which is situated at the front of the green. With the pin on the front left of the green on the final day, it caused real trouble for the players as the green sloped down towards the flag but also towards the water. After hitting his approach shot into the green, Stallings heart was in his mouth as he saw his ball roll back towards the hazard but stop and cushion itself on the slight bit of rough which separated the green and the water. This slice of luck was exactly what Stalling needed and he certainly took advantage of this by making a comfortable two putt for birdie and the lead. This was enough to see off any competition as the final groups could only make pars towards the end of the round and stay one shot back on 8 under par.

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