$10 Million Door Open for Singh and Furyk

By Associated PressAugust 22, 2007, 4:00 pm
the Barclays Logo 2007HARRISON, N.Y. -- No one was tailgating in the parking lot behind the driving range at Westchester Country Club. The cool, damp air at The Barclays did not smell of bratwurst and beer. There was idle chatter on the putting green, just like any other week.
 
The PGA TOUR playoffs sure don't resemble the postseason in other sports.
 
'I think in our sport, 'playoff' is a very loosely used word,' Jim Furyk said with a smile.
 
The Barclays begins Thursday as the first of four straight tournaments that conclude the FedExCup, a radical change on the PGA TOUR designed to hold interest after the majors and to reward the guy playing his best golf in the final month of the season.
 
The winner gets $10 million in deferred money.
 
Furyk poked fun at the TOUR marketing the final month as 'playoffs' because 144 players qualified for the first event, and because it's possible that Tiger Woods or Vijay Singh could capture the FedExCup without winning any of the last four tournaments. Unspoken by most is that it doesn't feel like the playoffs without Woods at Westchester for the opening round.
 
But there are some viable similarities.
 
For starters, 24 golfers will be sent home Sunday if they don't finish among the top 120 on the points list after The Barclays. Fifty more players will be eliminated after the Deutsche Bank Championship outside Boston a week later, then 40 more after the BMW Championship outside Chicago, until only 30 are left at the TOUR Championship.
 
And just like most playoff systems, this represents a second chance.
 
Paul Goydos started his year by winning the Sony Open, but he hasn't done much since then and starts the playoffs as the No. 53 seed. The man sarcastically known as 'Sunshine' for his dour outlook had no problem filling his glass with optimism.
 
'This is the second season,' Goydos said. 'The reality is, if I win this week, I pass Tiger Woods.'
 
Even though Woods already has won five times this year -- no one else has won more than twice -- his 11,000-point lead in the FedExCup was reset to 1,000 points over the second-seeded Singh, with Jeff Gove at No. 144 and 15,300 points behind.
 
Mathematically, everyone has a chance to win the $10 million prize.
 
'I had a good start to the season, but then I fell back into a well,' Goydos said. 'Now the TOUR has thrown me a rope.'
 
Woods figured he didn't need a lifeline and decided to stay home this week, knowing he likely will be passed by a little if it's a player from the bottom half of the seedings, by a lot if it's someone such as Singh, a three-time winner at Westchester and the defending champion.
 
Woods still will have three weeks to make up the difference, two of those on courses where he has won.
 
For now, the focus tends to shift toward the bottom of the food chain.
 
In NCAA basketball terminology, Gove would be golf's version of Coastal Carolina. He snagged the final spot by a mere 23 points -- that translates to one putt in this case -- and his immediate goal is simply to keep playing. Gove needs to finish at least fifth at The Barclays to have any hope of moving inside the top 120 in points.
 
'I could finish sixth and not be in the tournament next week,' Gove said. 'But at least I get to play.'
 
The playoffs could be a boon for someone such as Joe Durant, who went on a tear at the end of last season. He was worried about keeping his card until finishing with five top-10s, including a victory at Disney, a playoff loss in Mississippi and third place at the TOUR Championship. Durant wound up a career-best 13th on the money list.
 
But as the No. 123 seed, he has no margin for error.
 
'If you're in the position I'm in, you really have to go deep and play well,' Durant said. 'I don't have the luxury of coming out this week and performing mediocre and knowing that I still have three more weeks. Guys in my position don't have that ability. We have to step up this week and play.'
 
Even if he fails this week, Durant and others like him still have seven tournaments after the TOUR Championship.
 
Another longshot is Frank Lickliter, who checks in at No. 129.
 
'I would like to be known as 'Frank's Folly' in the fifth race,' he said, speaking of longshots. 'Listen, no matter what you're playing for, it's still golf. You've still got to play.'
 
At the other end of the spectrum are players such as Singh, Furyk and Phil Mickelson, all of whom can surpass Woods in the standings by finishing fifth or higher.
 
Although Woods is regarded a favorite despite skipping The Barclays, Singh can't help but like his chances considering where the playoff events are held.
 
He joins Jack Nicklaus as the only three-time winners at Westchester, winning last year by two shots over Adam Scott. Next week is the Deutsche Bank Championship, where Singh won a duel over Woods in 2004 to become No. 1 in the world. He hasn't won at Cog Hill, but the 44-year-old Fijian won the TOUR Championship at East Lake in 2002.
 
And playing four straight weeks is just fine with Singh, who thrives on a busy schedule.
 
'If you look at the record, I have a very good stretch of wins and performances in those four events,' Singh said. 'And taking that into account, I feel good about it.'
 
No matter what happens in the playoffs or who gets sent home, there is more at stake. Each of the next three tournaments carries a separate $7 million purse, and a win guarantees a spot in the Masters.
 
The TOUR's hope is that the $10 million prize comes down to the final round of the final tournament at East Lake, and in a perfect world, comes down to the final few holes among the top two players.
 
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    Perez skips Torrey, 'upset' with Ryder Cup standings

    By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 2:19 am

    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.

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    Woods favored to miss Farmers Insurance Open cut

    By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 1:54 am

    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

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    Monahan buoyed by Tour's sponsor agreements

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 24, 2018, 12:27 am

    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.”

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    Day WDs from Farmers pro-am because of sore back

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:07 am

    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.