What the Masters Ball Proposal Really Means
SPECIAL BALL FOR THE MASTERS?: Its all over the golf and mainstream media: Augusta National Golf Club, which presents The Masters Tournament, is considering controlling the length of invitees drives by insisting that they use a uniform, limited-distance golf ball.
Before anyone gets too excited, lets see this announcement for what it really is. Masters chairman Hootie Johnson and his colleagues dont say things lightly. If push came to shove, they would do it. As a private club answerable to no particular golf organization, Augusta National could do what it pleases, and would. The club feels it has done all it can with the real estate by lengthening the course by 285 yards. If players are still hitting short irons into greens that architect Alister MacKenzie meant to receive longer shots, the club will consider itself backed into a corner and forced to limit the length of tee shots.
But thats not whats really happening here. Sources close to the Masters say that between the lines of Johnsons announcement is the desire for golfs ruling bodies to get off the dime on the golf ball issue.
The U.S. Golf Association is working on a new overall distance standard to replace the one developed in 1975, but it could be months before the regulation comes out. And its unlikely the number would be less than the current standard of 291.2 yards of carry and roll (plus a 2 percent measurement tolerance) when a ball is tested on USGA equipment. In other words, balls may not get longer, but they wont get shorter ' and that doesnt solve Johnsons problem.
In any event, say sources close to the Masters, nothing would change for this years tournament.
Nobody in the sport argues with the idea that uniform rules would be best. But Johnsons call for some sort of golf ball regulation is the second equipment-concern announcement this year from a major tournament power. PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem has publicly stated he may need to make special PGA Tour rules if the USGA and the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews Cant get together on spring-like effect of drivers, probably with the same goading intent as Johnson. But Finchem, too, can be counted on to walk the walk should the need arise.
And if it does, presumably manufacturers would be given specs to adhere to. And that begs the question: Who will watch over their shoulders in the plant? And if the ball is to be vanilla no matter who cooks it up why should the manufacturers even do it?
NICE BALANCE SHEET, EH?: Annual results look strong for ClubLink, Canadas largest owner, operator and developer of high-end golf clubs and resorts. In 2001, revenue was up to Can$118.2 million ($74.78 million) from Can$105.7 million ($68.67 million) in 2000. The company got to keep a fair amount of it, too. Earnings before income tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) was Can$36.7 million ($23.22 million) in 2001, versus Can$25.4 million ($16.07 million) in 2000.
ClubLink shareholders will now get semiannual dividends. The first, Can$.05 ($.03) per share, will be paid in May.
TMaG POSTS NUMBERS: A mostly-metalwood year lifted TaylorMade-adidas Golf annual revenues 24 percent, the company said, from $386.6 million in 2000 to $477.8 million in 2001. Parent company adidas doesnt break out the exact numbers, but TMaG operating profit is up 43 percent year to year, the golf division said.
TMaG credits the 300 Series of titanium woods with the market penetration that led to the big numbers, as well as the good reception for the 200 Series, which are made of stainless steel. TMaG spent heavily in 2001 to get a foothold on the PGA Tour with the 300s; this year theyre following a similar plan for irons.
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.