Battling a crowded leaderboard and U.S. Open-style conditions at the Torrey Pines South Course, Spencer Levin continued to show he's up to the task of gaining traction again on the PGA Tour, finishing three shots behind a four-way playoff Sunday while putting together four strong rounds against top competition.
Levin, one of four golfers sponsored by MLB.com, landed in a tie for 11th place, shooting a 2-over 74 to finish at 6-under par in the tournament won by Jason Day after two playoff holes. It was Levin's third top-25 showing in seven events played so far in a 2014-15 Tour season he hopes rekindles some of his earlier promise before injury set him back for a couple of years.
Again sporting a white cap with the MLB.com logo up front, Levin was in the second-to-last group of the day, and after a birdie on No. 2, he bogeyed four of the next five holes and finished with a 38 on the front nine. He wound up even on the back nine, completing his round with an outstanding approach on No. 18, spinning the ball back toward the hole for an easy birdie putt on the par-5 finishing hole. Levin is projected to rank 57th on the FedEx points list after his performance in San Diego.
Levin, 30, earned some $2.3 million on the Tour in 2011, finishing 31st on the money list, before a 2012 injury to his left thumb and surgery that followed interrupted his career track. He started the 2014-15 season on a major medical exemption, earning enough points in the opening events in late 2014 to gain full status for the remainder of the 2014-15 season.
"I had to make about an eight-footer in my last tournament in Mexico. I had enough events to get in, but if I missed that, I would have had to wait all winter," Levin said in the interview room after Saturday's third round. "I still had a few events to get it, but I tell you that winter was a lot better not having to worry about it. That was big. I enjoyed my offseason and I'm enjoying golf again. I'm just happy to be out here."
Levin, a Sacramento native, is scheduled to head up the California coast to play in the AT&T National Pro-Am at Pebble Beach, where he'll continue his search for a first career win. He's slated to be joined there by Max Homa, another golfer sponsored by MLB.com, as is Champions Tour golfer Billy Andrade and Peter Malnati, currently playing on the Web.com Tour.
John Schlegel is a national reporter for MLB.com. You can follow him on Twitter @JohnSchlegelMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.