1991 Ryder Cup Lingers at Senior PGA

By Associated PressMay 23, 2007, 4:00 pm
2007 Senior PGA ChampionshipKIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. -- Mark O'Meara remembers the celebration that followed the U.S. team's defeat of Europe in the Ryder Cup's 'War by the Shore' at The Ocean Course in 1991.
 
He also recalls the empathy he had for Bernhard Langer, who missed the slithery 6-footer on No. 18 that gave the Americans the victory.
 
In the aftermath of cheers, O'Meara thought of his European rival and was 'sad for him because you wouldn't want anybody to be in that position,' he said Wednesday.
 
O'Meara, Hale Irwin, Raymond Floyd and other competitors from those famed Cup matches return to The Ocean Course this week for the Senior PGA Championship.
 
Langer's putt ended three days of agonizing, compelling drama, where many of the world's best players were sent to their knees by Pete Dye's fearsome layout.
 
'I remember the horror stories we saw there,' said O'Meara, the former Masters and British Open champion playing his first Senior major.
 
O'Meara stood around the 18th green with his U.S. teammates and captain Dave Stockton -- who'll also tee it up this week -- to watch Sunday's final singles match between Langer and Irwin.
 
With the United States ahead 14-13, Langer needed to win the final hole to win his match and force a tie which would have sent the cup back overseas. Instead, Langer missed his par putt.
 
Irwin was already in with a 5 on the 18th when Langer's turn came. At some of the practice rounds, Irwin noticed the grain on the green seemed stronger back to front than on other greens. He urged his teammates to remember that when they came to the last hole.
 
'Was I hoping he would make it? Of course not,' said Irwin, a four-time Senior PGA winner. 'There was little I could do about it. But I was wondering if (Langer) knew what I thought I knew. And he did not.'
 
There was no need to worry about Langer, though. Both O'Meara and Irwin praised his mettle in winning a tournament in Germany the following week.
 
The Ocean Course has not hosted such a high-profile event since. It held the World Cup in 1997 and 2003, and the first Warburg Cup match-play competition -- in which Langer took part -- six years ago.
 
While Dye and his crew subtly tweaked the course the past 16 years, the Atlantic's swirling winds ultimately will decide if this week's event is remembered in the same somewhat fearful way as that long-ago Ryder Cup.
 
Irwin chuckled as seaside gusts rattled the tent as he spoke. The wind is forecast at up to 25 mph, strong enough to send any preparation from Tuesday's pro-am 'halfway out the window,' Irwin said.
 
If the breezes blow even harder Thursday, anything you've done in practice is gone 'and it's dragging behind you in the car,' he said.
 
Depending on the wind's direction, O'Meara said, you could hit driver, 4-iron to reach the par-4, 394-yard first hole one day and then use 3-wood, sand wedge a round later.
 
'To me, that's kind of what golf's all about, to have change of the elements depict how a golf course is going to play,' he said.
 
Defending Senior PGA champion Jay Haas thinks the ocean breezes could mean the winner finishes over par. Then again, he heard the same warnings at last year's event at Oak Tree Golf Club.
 
'We played some practice in some pretty heavy winds there and that was the so-called toughest course in America when it was built and all that,' Haas said. 'So I think there were some guys, myself included, having nightmares about the course.'
 
Instead, Haas won the first major of his career at 5 under par.
 
Irwin, perhaps carrying the memories from 16 years earlier, is wary of what's ahead. The Ocean Course, he said, 'could manufacture some scores that will be unbelievably high.'
 
Those earlier competitions, Irwin noted, were match play. This competition is vastly different.
 
'In match play, you're out there slashing away and you can give it up and only lose one hole,' he said. 'But out here you slash away and you can lose your life.'
 
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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.

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    Farmers inks 7-year extension through 2026

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:04 am

    SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance has signed a seven-year extension to serve as the title sponsor for the PGA Tour event at Torrey Pines, it was announced Tuesday. The deal will run through 2026.

    “Farmers Insurance has been incredibly supportive of the tournament and the Century Club’s charitable initiatives since first committing to become the title sponsor in 2010,” PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.


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    “We are extremely grateful for the strong support of Farmers and its active role as title sponsor, and we are excited by the commitment Farmers has made to continue sponsorship of the Farmers Insurance Open for an additional seven years.

    In partnership with Farmers, the Century Club – the tournament’s host organization – has contributed more than $20 million to deserving organizations benefiting at-risk youth since 2010.