Allenby leads Compton contending at Honda

By Associated PressMarch 5, 2009, 5:00 pm
2007 Honda ClassicPALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. ' Erik Comptons first goal this week at the Honda Classic was playing well enough to be around on Sunday.
So far, so good.
Golfs comeback kid closed a comeback of a first round Friday morning at PGA National, finishing off a 1-under 69 and tied for 12th, three shots behind leader Robert Allenby.
No, its not perfect position for Compton. But for a guy who doesnt mind pointing out that hes died twice, its nothing to complain about.
Ive been fighting my game and fighting life for so long, Compton said. Its time.
This is Comptons second PGA Tour event since undergoing heart-transplant surgery for the second time last year. Diagnosed with heart disease at 9 and needing his first transplant three years later, Compton never thought hed be able to go to college. Nearly two decades later, Compton is married with a newborn daughter, and says its time to get his golf career rolling.
Everyone in the Honda field will try to beat him. In some way, theyre all probably rooting for Compton as well.
You can only wish him well after what hes had to go through to get to where he is right now, Allenby said. I mean, no ones fought for their life really on this tour as much as he has.
Compton was among nine players who couldnt complete the round Thursday night because of darkness. The pace of play was brutally slow, with some groups needing 3 hours to play nine holes.
He only needed 21 minutes to finish up Friday morning. He started the day with a 30-yard pitch that he left on the course the night before and rolled in a 10-footer for par, then finished with another par, two-putting from 12 feet.
I did what I needed to do, Compton said. Got up and down.
As the sun started to go down Thursday night, Allenby moved up to take the top spot on the leaderboard.
He endured a day when the wind blew flags straight and the only solace for players were receptive greens. He had a tap-in on the par-4 ninth ' his final hole ' to break away from what was an eight-way tie for the lead.
Allenby missed a 2 1/2 -footer on the previous hole, so he left nothing to chance on the last, hitting a 6-iron to 6 inches.
I just sort of played within myself, took one or two clubs more when it was into the wind, tried not to force it and just tried to feel my way around the golf course, said Allenby, who lives nearby and has two top-five finishes at PGA National since the Honda moved there in 2007.
A group of six players ' Sergio Garcia, Stewart Cink, Charlie Wi, Jeff Overton, Angel Cabrera and Will Mackenzie ' entered the second round one shot behind Allenbys pace. Another four players, including Chris Riley, were another shot back.
Looming not far behind was Compton, the South Florida native who got into the Honda on a sponsors exemption. The PGA Tour would let him use a cart if he needed it; the only Compton who got a ride in the first round was Petra, his daughter who was born about two weeks ago.
He made a triple-bogey on his second hole, which would have deflated some.
Compton, however, said it was the kickstart he needed.
I said, Im not going to fight it anymore. Im going to let it go, Compton said. It was good.
Real good, actually: Compton birdied three straight holes after making the turn, no small feat in conditions like the ones players faced Thursday.
I played really well despite having a triple, Compton said.
Mathias Gronberg endured a horrendous back nine. Gronberg was 1 over through six holes, a fairly nondescript beginning. The last 12 holes, well, they were ones that hell likely never forget.
Put it this way: He didnt even manage to play bogey golf.
Gronberg had three triple-bogeys in a four-hole span on the back side, became the first player to shoot 50 over nine holes since Phil Tataurangi at Greensboro nine years ago ' excluding Billy Casper, whose 106 in the first round at the 2005 Masters officially went into the books as a WD because he didnt turn in the card.
Gronberg saved par at the 18th to shoot a staggering 89, 19 over par.
Thats a record for me, Gronberg said.
Defending champion Ernie Els shot 73, as did Camilo Villegas, Davis Love III and Rocco Mediate, among others.

Notes: Compton said he had trouble sleeping Thursday night, but not because he was near the lead. Ate too much, he said. 2000 Honda winner Dudley Hart withdrew during the first round with a back injury. Glen Day withdrew Friday morning because of a sore neck. He opened with a 78....Play was called at 6:30 p.m. ET Thursday with nine players still on the course. Former PGA champion Shaun Micheel, who has a therapeutic-use exemption through the 2010 season for transdermal testosterone gel ' he was diagnosed with low testosterone four years ago ' shot even-par 70 in his first round of the year. Hes coming off shoulder surgery. Replete with rain gear just in case, Woody Austin took two swings to free his ball from the waterside muck at the par-3 17th. No reprise of the 2007 Aquaman scene at the Presidents Cup when he fell into the water, though: Austin stayed dry and saved double bogey.
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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.