At the US Open Schools In
I hope you've had a chance to look around campus. Clubhouse Hall, the famous pass-through with our school crest on the keystone...very inspiring, to be sure.
But we here at USOA are proudest of our classrooms. Take Room 12: a 640-yard par 5, often into the wind. No shortcuts in this class. You may be able to skip a midterm exam on your garden-variety par 5, but here you'll need to ace every test: the opening quiz, all essay, no multiple choice. Here's a hint: the answer is the fairway.
Then there's still a long way to go, even if you get a 300 (yards) score on the driving test. To get around that little buttonhook near the green, you'll have to place a very perceptive answer on Quiz No. 2. This is closed-book, because you can't see the gentle slope in the second-shot landing area that throws balls to the right, towards the rough. (By the way, there's a remedial seminar in jungle biology going on in there. Here's your machete.)
It's that third quiz that may really have you pulling an all-nighter. Craft a thoughtful answer that will stay below the always difficult hole location. Don't get wordy and go long....that will just make the final harder.
And the final? As with every other green here on the Winged Foot campus, you'll need touch and nerve. When A.W. Tillinghast, founder of our campus, said the winner will need to stand 'the gaff' from start to finish to win, this is what he was talking about.
Oh, and if it seems as if each test counts toward 100 percent of your grade....it's because it's true.
You're all bright enough students to have been accepted here, so you've probably figured it out. The operative verb here at U.S. Open Academy is 'think.' You must think your way around this course, through these courses in graduate golf mastery. Verbs that won't work, at least as overall approaches to your academic career here, are hammer, pummel, overpower, slop, slap, flip, or clobber. And while you're at it, banish from your game adjectives such as automatic, brain-dead, greedy, impetuous and impatient.
You see, students, our model of golf at USOA is built on 14 factors designed to identify the best among you. Far and sure tee shots, thoughtful approaches that must sometimes work away from tempting but foolhardy hole locations, devilish chips and pitches that force you to manage your churning emotions...this is what we have built.
Is it the only valid championship model? No, decidedly not. The coastal links approach often found in British Opens, with its unpredictable bounces and shifting winds as primary thought provokers and patience testers, is another notable way.
But is our way a completely thought-out, defensible test of golf as it has developed over more than a century in the United States? Just as decidedly, yes. And it's the difference between our approach and others that adds interest to the game at its highest level.
Now, there may come some times when you find your lab work results a little messy and embarrassing. For instance, we had some unintended trouble at our Shinnecock Hills campus a couple years back. We will do everything we can to make such episodes the exception, not the rule.
As you work your way through the syllabus, observe the methods of some of our more distinguished alumni and faculty. Professor Woods holds the emotion until the 18th-hole flashbulbs go off. Dr. Mickelson, seeking tenure here, has published some intriguing papers recently, including one last summer at Baltusrol, another Tillinghast campus. And dig back into the library to review the work of Professor Casper, holder of the Bobby Jones Chair in Patient Course Management.
All over our campus this week, great thinkers have been putting their minds to use, from the equipment trucks to the practice range to the tee boxes. Shorter drivers? Perhaps. No sand wedge, but a 64-degree? Sure. Three-wood instead of driver to not hit through the doglegs? Good research.
Youll all get an education this week, even those of you who only get an associate degree and a Friday exit. But the valedictorian? That will be the best thinker.
Now, please open your scorecards to Hole No. 1.
Email your thoughts to Adam Barr
Perez skips Torrey, 'upset' with Ryder Cup standings
Pat Perez is unhappy about his standing on the U.S. Ryder Cup points list, and his situation won't improve this week.
Perez won the CIMB Classic during the fall portion of this season, and he followed that with a T-5 finish at the inaugural CJ Cup. But he didn't receive any Ryder Cup points for either result because of a rule enacted by the American task force prior to the 2014 Ryder Cup which only awards points during the calendar year of the biennial matches as well as select events like majors and WGCs during the prior year.
As a result, Perez is currently 17th in the American points race - behind players like Patrick Reed, Zach Johnson, Bill Haas and James Hahn, none of whom have won a tournament since the 2016 Ryder Cup - as he looks to make a U.S. squad for the first time at age 42.
"That kind of upset me a little bit, the fact that I'm (17) on the list, but I should probably be (No.) 3 or 4," Perez told Golf Digest. "So it kind of put a bitter taste in my mouth. The fact that you win on the PGA Tour and you beat some good players, yet you don't get any points because of what our committee has decided to do."
Perez won't be earning any points this week because he has opted to tee it up at the European Tour's Omega Dubai Desert Classic. The decision comes after Perez finished T-21 last week at the Singapore Open, and it means that the veteran is missing the Farmers Insurance Open in his former hometown of San Diego for the first time since 2001.
Perez went to high school a few minutes from Torrey Pines, and he defeated a field that included Tiger Woods to win the junior world title on the South Course in 1993. His father, Tony, has been a longtime starter on the tournament's opening hole, and Perez was a runner-up in 2014 and tied for fourth last year.
Woods favored to miss Farmers Insurance Open cut
If the Las Vegas bookmakers are to be believed, folks in the San Diego area hoping to see Tiger Woods this week might want to head to Torrey Pines early.
Woods is making his first competitive start of the year this week at the Farmers Insurance Open, and it will be his first official start on the PGA Tour since last year's event. He missed nearly all of 2017 because of a back injury before returning with a T-9 finish last month at the Hero World Challenge.
But the South Course at Torrey Pines is a far different test than Albany, and the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook lists Woods as a -180 favorite to miss the 36-hole cut. It means bettors must wager $180 to win $100, while his +150 odds to make the cut mean a bettor can win $150 with a $100 wager.
Woods is listed at 25/1 to win. He won the tournament for the seventh time in 2013, but in three appearances since he has missed the 36-hole cut, missed the 54-hole cut and withdrawn after 12 holes.
Here's a look at the various Woods-related prop bets available at the Westgate:
Will Woods make the 36-hole cut? Yes +150, No -180
Lowest single-round score (both courses par 72): Over/Under 70
Highest single-round score: Over/Under 74.5
Will Woods finish inside the top 10? Yes +350, No -450
Will Woods finish inside the top 20? Yes +170, No -200
Will Woods withdraw during the tournament? Yes +650, No -1000
Monahan buoyed by Tour's sponsor agreements
SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance announced on Tuesday at Torrey Pines a seven-year extension of the company’s sponsorship of the Southern California PGA Tour event. This comes on the heels of Sony extending its sponsorship of the year’s first full-field event in Hawaii through 2022.
Although these might seem to be relatively predictable moves, considering the drastic makeover of the Tour schedule that will begin with the 2018-19 season, it is a telling sign of the confidence corporations have in professional golf.
“It’s a compliment to our players and the value that the sponsors are achieving,” Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.
Monahan said that before 2014 there were no 10-year title sponsorship agreements in place. Now there are seven events sponsored for 10-years, and another five tournaments that have agreements in place of at least seven years.
“What it means is, it gives organizations like the Century Club [which hosts this week’s Farmers Insurance Open], when you have that level of stability on a long-term basis that allows you to invest in your product, to grow interest and to grow the impact of it,” Monahan said. “You experienced what this was like in 2010 or seen other tournaments that you don’t know what the future is.S o to go out and sell and inspire a community and you can’t state that we have a long-term agreement it’s more difficult.”
Events like this year’s Houston Open, Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, and The National all currently don’t have title sponsors – although officials at Colonial are confident they can piece together a sponsorship package. But even that is encouraging to Monahan considering the uncertainty surrounding next season’s schedule, which will include the PGA Championship moving to May and The Players to March as well as a pre-Labor Day finish to the season.
“When you look back historically to any given year [the number of events needing sponsors] is lower than the typical average,” Monahan said. “As we start looking to a new schedule next year, you get excited about a great schedule with a great group of partners.”
Day WDs from Farmers pro-am because of sore back
SAN DIEGO – Jason Day has withdrawn from the Wednesday pro-am at the Farmers Insurance Open, citing a sore back.
Day, the 2015 champion, played a practice round with Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau on Tuesday at Torrey Pines, and he is still expected to play in the tournament.
Day was replaced in the pro-am by Whee Kim.
Making his first start since the Australian Open in November, Day is scheduled to tee off at 1:30 p.m. ET Thursday alongside Jon Rahm and Brandt Snedeker.