Grading the Farmers Insurance Open

Scott Stallings won by one at Torrey Pines. (Getty Images)
Scott Stallings won by one at Torrey Pines. (Getty Images)

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For most of Sunday's round at the Farmers Insurance Open you could have pulled a name out of a hat and anyone would have believed you held the winner.

During the heart of the round there were as many as 19 (nineteen!) golfers within two shots of the lead (including the leaders).

It looked for a while like we would have a playoff that would shame the six-man affairs from 1994 and 2001 that still hold up as the PGA Tour record for most golfers in a single playoff.

But in the end Scott Stallings emerged at 9 under with his third PGA Tour victory on the wave of a sizzling 68 that included seven birdies on only four of 14 fairways hit.

One of those birdies came at No. 18 on a ball that nearly rolled into the water hazard.

"[On] 18 my caddie said 'let's see what you got, you worked your butt off for this'. It's pretty cool, hadn't quite set in yet but it's nice to hold up coming down the stretch," said Stallings to Peter Kostis of CBS after his round.

Stallings got his first PGA Tour win at the 2011 Greenbriar Classic over Bill Haas and Bob Estes. Then he won the 2012 True South Classic over Jason Bohn.

But nothing like this. 

A one-shot win over KJ Choi, Jason Day, Graham DeLaet, and Pat Perez.

That's a big-time win for a 28-year-old who is now just the sixth player currently under age 30 to have three or more PGA Tour wins.

Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson, and Anthony Kim are the other five.

That's good company. Company Stallings will officially join at the Masters in April this year. 

Peter Kostis referenced a story about Stallings using a Masters pencil during his first win in 2011 at the Greenbriar and Stallings assured him he hasn't changed much.

"The pencil's still in my yardadge book. I'm pretty excited to go back in April."

Here are our grades for the Farmers Insurance Open:
A Scott Stallings becomes the first 2014 champion who wasn't already in the Masters field.
A KJ Choi had maybe the quote of the week after his 66 on Sunday. "The golf course is very calm and my game's more wonderful today."
A Jason Day hovered at the top of the leaderboard all week after a first-round 66. He bookended that with a final-round 68 and racked up another top 10 finish.
B Terrific Sunday 69 from Bubba Watson. Unfortunately it was the only time all week he broke 70. A good round on the north course in the first two days and he would have been right in the mix on Sunday afternoon.
B Jordan Spieth has to learn to close out tournaments when he has a 54-hole lead. He was less than spectacular on the weekend, shooting 75-75.
D It doesn't count as a missed cut but it might as well be for Tiger Woods. Only two golfers played worse than he did on Saturday. He'll be fine but it wasn't his best outing.  
I Disappointing week for Phil Mickelson. He withdrew on Friday at 2 under and with a winning score that never reached double digits on Sunday you never know what Lefty could have done.

For more golf news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnGolf and @KylePorterCBS on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

CBS Sports Writer

Kyle Porter began his sports writing career with CBS Sports in 2012. He covers golf, writes poetry about Rory McIlroy's swing, stays ready on Tiger watch and loves the Masters more than anyone you know.... Full Bio

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