Jason Day has moved to world No.4 with victory in the Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego.
Day, 27, won a four-man playoff at the famous Torrey Pines for his third US PGA Tour victory and his first since winning last year’s World Matchplay Championship.
The victory will lift him past Adam Scott on the world rankings, into fourth position, matching his career high after his matchplay win in Arizona before his 2014 season was derailed by a string of injuries.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” an emotional Day said.
“I’ve been working so hard for this and I just kept on visualising myself holding the trophy this week, just like I did at the Matchplay and I just said, `I’m not going to stop, I’m not going to stop’.
“I’m just really proud of myself, being able to hang in there and grind it out on a course that I love to be at. I’m just really thrilled.”
Day was chuffed to surge four spots in the rankings, moving ever closer to his long-stated goal of reaching the pinnacle.
“That’s good news. My ultimate goal is to get to No.1 at one point and there are a lot of great golfers in front of me, but it’s a good start to the year,” he said.
“So hopefully I can stay healthy and give it a good run.”
Day fired a round of two-under-par 70 to reach a four way playoff with JB Holmes, defending champ Scott Stallings and Harris English after several players had led the tournament throughout the day.
But Day hung tough down the stretch and a long bomb for birdie on the 16th in regulation play propelled him to a -9 finish.
He was the best placed off the tee up the 18th fairway in the playoff, but didn’t hit the par-five green in two and had to watch as Holmes hit an immaculate wedge in tight birdie range.
But the Queenslander responded with a bump shot to within 30cm and when Stallings and English missed their birdie putts, the playoff was quickly down to two.
Holmes then airmailed the green on the long par-3 16th hole before Day flew straight at the pin to finish 5m beyond and leave him in firm control.
After the American took a free drop for relief from the grandstand, he still couldn’t get to makeable par range and Day’s two putts were enough.