SAN DIEGO - While they weren't able to keep pace with Tiger Woods, who won the Farmers Insurance Open by four shots Monday, both Josh Teater and Brad Fritsch can leave Torrey Pines knowing that they were able to record career-best finishes this week.
'It was awesome to have a finish like this when you don't really feel like you're playing your best,' said Teater, whose 3-under 69 in the final round moved him into a tie for second with defending champion Brandt Snedeker, four shots behind Woods. 'It just kind of opened my eyes to what I can continue working on.'
As he got set to collect the largest check of his golfing career, Teater was quick to point out that he expects high finishes like this week's runner-up to occur with increased frequency moving forward.
'This is my fourth year out here, so it's no fluke that I belong,' added Teater, whose best career PGA Tour finish coming into this week was a tie for third at the 2010 Turning Stone Resort Championship. 'It's just taking the next step.'
Fritsch, meanwhile, saw one of the day's most eventful rounds end on a positive note. After beginning the day in fourth place, the Canadian played his first eight holes after play resumed in 4 over, and appeared ready to drop further back after a poor bunker shot at 16 failed to reach the green. His par chip found the hole, though, as did a long birdie putt on 17, and after another birdie on the final hole, Fritsch ended his tumultuous afternoon in a tie for ninth place, his first career top-10 finish.
'I figured something had to go right, because I was hitting a lot of good shots and they were ending up in bad spots,' explained Fritsch, who was making just his eighth career PGA Tour start this week. 'I knew I had to make a couple birdies, but didn't expect to make one at 17. But like I said, something had to go right.'
The top-10 finish also gets Fritsch into the field next week's Waste Management Phoenix Open. Of the 16 players in this week's field unable to play in the Monday qualifier in Phoenix due to the delayed finish at Torrey Pines, only Fritsch was able to net a spot at TPC Scottsdale by cracking the top 10.
'It's a week away from my family - I was sort of looking forward to seeing them,' he explained. 'But I feel like I can go to Phoenix and play well.'
Having spent the final 36 holes this week in the group ahead of Woods, Fritsch feels he is prepared for the large crowds in Phoenix, especially on the boisterous 16th hole.
'I handled playing in front of Tiger,' he added. 'So I think I should be able to handle playing in Phoenix.'