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article imageWoodland rues title chance that got away

    Jan 27, 2014 in Sports

(Reuters) - Gary Woodland was left to rue the chance of a PGA Tour victory that he felt he gave away after the long-hitting American ended up in a tie for 10th at the Farmers Insurance Open outside San Diego on Sunday.

Woodland had been a stroke in front heading into the final round at Torrey Pines and was tied for the lead with three holes to play before his title hopes were wrecked with a double-bogey at the 17th.

After pulling his tee shot on 17 way left into a hazard on the way to an ugly six, Woodland failed to birdie the par-five last, where his power hitting would normally give him an advantage, as he closed with a two-over 74.

"This will be hard to swallow," Woodland told reporters after posting a six-under total of 282 to finish three strokes behind tournament winner Scott Stallings, who signed off with a 68.

"I felt like I kind of gave one (PGA Tour win) away today. Drove it well early and just didn't get anything out of it. I scrambled well late and unfortunately made a bad swing on 17.

"But all in all I'm playing really well. I can take a lot from this week. Scott Stallings played a phenomenal round today. Congrats to him, that's awesome."

Woodland, seeking his third victory on the U.S. circuit, did well to save par at the 10th and 11th, sinking tricky putts from 12 and nine feet to remain at eight under.

He also scrambled a par at the 12th, where he got up and down from a poor lie under overhanging branches beneath the right side of the green, before he joined Stallings in a tie for the lead at nine under with a birdie at the 13th.

Woodland then bogeyed the 14th, after finding the right rough off the tee, then missed a 10-footer for birdie at the 15th that would have given him the outright lead before his title bid foundered at the 17th.

"I gave myself a lot of chances and I just didn't get anything out of it," said Woodland, whose final round included three birdies, three bogeys and the double on 17. "It kind of fell apart there on the back nine.

"All in all, I'm playing well and I've got a golf course that suits me really well (at Scottsdale), and the good thing is I can forget about this and play well next week."

Woodland is scheduled to play his next event at the PGA Tour's Phoenix Open in Scottsdale, Arizona from January 30-February 2.

(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Gene Cherry)

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