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Stallings battles to victory at Torrey Pines

La Jolla, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Scott Stallings birdied the 72nd hole on Sunday to break through a crowd and win the Farmers Insurance Open.

Stallings, who won for the third time in the last four years on the PGA Tour, closed with a 4-under 68. He ended the tournament at 9-under-par 279.

"I drove it very poorly today. I hit some good ones down the stretch. There was a bad one on 17, but I hit a good one on 18," Stallings stated. "Then I hit a 4-iron as hard as I could and it barely stayed up on fringe."

He finished one clear of a field that was so bunched that 10 different players had at least a piece of the lead during the round.

K.J. Choi fired the low round of the last two days as he shot 6-under 66 to grab a piece of second place at minus-8. He was joined in second by Graham DeLaet and Jason Day, who both shot 68 in the final round, as well as Pat Perez (70) and 2010 runner-up Marc Leishman (71).

Charley Hoffman posted a 5-under 67 to soar 20 spots into a share of seventh at 7-under 281. He ended alongside Will MacKenzie and Ryo Ishikawa, who both closed with 70s on Sunday.

Trevor Immelman, Seung-Yul Noh and Justin Thomas all managed 3-under 69s on Sunday. They shared 10th place with Brad Fritsch (71), third-round leader Gary Woodland (74) and Russell Knox (70).

Stallings was four off the lead when he started the day. He traded a birdie for a bogey from the third. He dropped in back-to-back birdie efforts at eight and nine to make the turn at minus-7.

The 28-year-old tripped to another bogey on the par-4 10th. However, he fought right back with a birdie on the par-3 11th.

Stallings, who never looked at a leaderboard during the final round, played his third at the par-5 13th to three feet and he drained that birdie putt to gain a piece of the lead at minus-8. He made it two in a row with a 9-footer on 14 to move one ahead.

At the par-3 16th, Stallings 3-putted from 68 feet out to fall back into a share of the lead. He atoned for that mistake with a 2-foot birdie putt at the last.

"I never played good here before, in fact I never made the cut. The course requires a lot of patience. I was 2-over through three on Thursday and I told my caddie we'd have chances," said Stallings, who hit his approach into the water on 18 to lose the Humana Challenge in 2013. "I was fortunate that ball stayed up. Very similar to my shot at Humana last year."

Woodland had at least a piece of the lead for most of the round. He dropped shots at one and seven, but fought back with birdies at two and nine. Woodland birdied the 13th to join Stallings at minus-8, but he tripped to a bogey at 14 and a double-bogey at 17 to end three back.

Choi had seven birdies in a 12-hole span to soar into a share of the lead at 8-under. After a bogey on 17, he knocked in a short birdie putt to head to the clubhouse at minus-8. He had a long wait to see what happened as the final group was completing the ninth as he finished his round.

Leishman was tied for the lead early in the round. He needed to eagle the last for a playoff, but his third from 100 yards out stopped four feet from the hole.

DeLaet, Day and Perez were among the others that had a piece of the lead during the final round, but couldn't keep pace.

NOTES: Stallings earned $1.098 million for the win ... His other wins were at the Greenbrier in 2011 and the True South Classic in 2012 ... Hoffman had a hole-in-one on the par-3 third ... The PGA Tour heads to Arizona next week for the Phoenix Open. At this point, Phil Mickelson is slated to defend his title, but his status is in question due to a back injury.