Bring Your Kids to Work Days

By Associated PressJanuary 10, 2004, 5:00 pm
04 Mercedes ChampionshipsKAPALUA, Hawaii -- Davis Love III and Vijay Singh are spending a lot more time with their sons at the office.
Love noticed over the last few years that 10-year-old son Drew is a regular on the range at Sea Island, which has carried onto the golf course at Sea Island, Ga.
'Drew playing a lot has given me another boost, another reason to get out and play at home, not be lazy and go hunting, fishing,' Love said. 'I think his excitement is spilling over a little bit to me. He's having fun with it. He's dragging me out there a lot.'
Love is trying not to push his son toward a future in golf.
The former PGA champion had every resource imaginable as a kid, especially since his father was a renowned teaching pro. Love said he doesn't offer a lot of instruction unless asked, leaving that to the golf pros at Sea Island.
'I'm trying to do what my dad did -- give him all the access, teach him more about how to act at the golf course, etiquette, rules,' Love said. 'I'm trying to put him in the atmosphere that my dad put me in, let him find his way.'
Love said it was important that Drew saw him win four tournaments last year, if nothing else than to see the hard work pay off in results.
When they play together, Love still has pressure to perform well.
'He told me the other day, 'Why don't you hit the ball close like Uncle Mark?'' Love said.
'He knows. He's watching. When I don't hit a good shot, he wants to know why. Dad is supposed to hit it good every time. He inspires me to still play hard because he wants me to do well.'
Whether his son will follow the same career path remains to be seen.
Love said he wants to play in the Office Depot Father-Son Challenge, along with Fred Couples and his 10-year-old son, Oliver, but they figure the boys are a little too young.
They can check with Singh about what that experience is like.
Singh, who has won a Masters and PGA Championship, says his best golf memory was playing with 13-year-old Qass in the Office Depot Father-Son Challenge in Orlando, Fla., last month, where they contended on the final day.
'That was the biggest thrill I've ever had in my whole career,' Singh said. 'To do something special, like playing golf with him, was something that I never thought I was going to do until last year. '
There are different dynamics in the house of Singh.
While Drew Love has become a range rat, Qass Singh isn't as motivated to hit even a small bucket of balls.
'I have to drag him out on the golf course,' Singh said with a laugh.
The Fijian said his son was a natural as a toddler, and they even have pictures of him swinging a club in his pre-kindergarten years.
'He was unbelievable,' Singh said. 'I thought, 'I've got a winner, here.' He was a great player for his age until he hit about six, then he totally quit.'
Qass is in the seventh grade, and he started taking golf for his physical education class.
The Singhs, like the Loves, are not hurting for resources.
Qass gets out of school every day and spends an hour on the range at the Tournament Players Club at Sawgrass, which has one of the best practice facilities in the world. It was through that practice that Qass became good enough to take his game to national TV in the Office Depot Father-Son Challenge.
The bad news?
'After that tournament, he has not gone to the golf course,' Singh said. 'Once he starts school again, I think he'll get back that feel. He's keen, but he's not that keen right now. I'm not going to push him, although I'd love him to play golf. I think he's got great potential to be a great player.
'He swings the club better at his age than I did when I was his age. We'll have to see.'
NEW AGENT Ernie Els says he turned to Nick Price for advice when he was starting out in professional golf.
Now, he'll be turning to Price's agent.
Els left longtime manager Nick Frangos last year and has been shopping around for a new agent. He checked with just about everyone, from IMG to Links Sports, before settling on David Abell of Jupiter, Fla.
'I've never really gone with a group, so I felt staying on my own will be good,' Els said. 'I've known David a long time.'
TIGER AND PEBBLE Tiger Woods has had some of his greatest moments at Pebble Beach. He came from seven shots behind with seven holes to go to win the 2000 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, and later that summer won the U.S. Open by a record 15 shots with the lowest score ever in relation to par at a U.S. Open (12 under).
But it could be a while before he returns.
Woods said he was skipping the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am for the second straight year because of the bumpy poa annua greens in early February.
'You walk off the golf course saying you can never make a 1-foot putt,' he said.
Woods says his confidence on the greens is shot for weeks after Pebble Beach.
Instead, he will take a four-week break after this week and return at the Buick Invitational at Torrey Pines, where he is the defending champion.
Woods also is expected to play the Nissan Open and World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship.
Asked if he would ever return to the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, Woods replied, 'That depends on the greens.'
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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.

    Farmers Insurance Open: Articles, photos and videos

    “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. 

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    Woods impresses DeChambeau, Day on Tuesday

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 23, 2018, 11:27 pm

    SAN DIEGO – Bryson DeChambeau played with Tiger Woods for the first time Tuesday morning, and the biggest surprise was that he wasn’t overcome by nerves.

    “That’s what I was concerned about,” DeChambeau said. “Am I just gonna be slapping it around off the tee? But I was able to play pretty well.”

    So was Woods.

    DeChambeau said that Woods looked “fantastic” as he prepares to make his first PGA Tour start in a year.

    “His game looks solid. His body doesn’t hurt. He’s just like, yeah, I’m playing golf again,” DeChambeau said. “And he’s having fun, too, which is a good thing.”

    Woods arrived at Torrey Pines before 7 a.m. local time Tuesday, when the temperature hadn’t yet crept above 50 degrees. He warmed up and played the back nine of Torrey Pines’ South Course with DeChambeau and Jason Day.

    “He looks impressive; it was good to see,” Day told afterward. “You take (Farmers) last year and the Dubai tournament out, and he hasn’t really played in two years. I think the biggest thing is to not get too far ahead, or think he’s going to come back and win straight away.

    Farmers Insurance Open: Articles, photos and videos

    “The other time he came back, I don’t think he was ready and he probably came back too soon. This time he definitely looks ready. I think his swing is really nice, he’s hitting the driver a long way and he looks like he’s got some speed, which is great.”

    Woods said that his caddie, Joe LaCava, spent four days with him in South Florida last week and that he’s ready to go.

    “Before the Hero I was basically given the OK probably about three or four weeks prior to the tournament, and I thought I did pretty good in that prep time,” Woods told, referring to his tie for ninth in the 18-man event.

    “Now I’ve had a little more time to get ready for this event. I’ve played a lot more golf, and overall I feel like I’ve made some nice changes. I feel good.”

    Woods is first off Torrey Pines’ North Course in Wednesday’s pro-am, scheduled for 6:40 a.m. local time. 

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    With blinders on, Rahm within reach of No. 1 at Torrey

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 23, 2018, 10:10 pm

    SAN DIEGO – The drive over to Torrey Pines from Palm Springs, Calif., takes about two and a half hours, which was plenty of time for Jon Rahm’s new and ever-evolving reality to sink in.

    The Spaniard arrived in Southern California for a week full of firsts. The Farmers Insurance Open will mark the first time he’s defended a title on the PGA Tour following his dramatic breakthrough victory last year, and it will also be his first tournament as the game’s second-best player, at least according to the Official World Golf Ranking.

    Rahm’s victory last week at the CareerBuilder Challenge, his second on Tour and fourth worldwide tilt over the last 12 months, propelled the 23-year-old to No. 2 in the world, just behind Dustin Johnson. His overtime triumph also moved him to within four rounds of unseating DJ atop the global pecking order.

    It’s impressive for a player who at this point last year was embarking on his first full season as a professional, but then Rahm has a fool-proof plan to keep from getting mired in the accolades of his accomplishments.

    “It's kind of hard to process it, to be honest, because I live my day-to-day life with my girlfriend and my team around me and they don't change their behavior based on what I do, right?” he said on Tuesday at Torrey Pines. “They'll never change what they think of me. So I really don't know the magnitude of what I do until I go outside of my comfort zone.”

    Head down and happy has worked perfectly for Rahm, who has finished outside the top 10 in just three of his last 10 starts and began 2018 with a runner-up showing at the Sentry Tournament of Champions and last week’s victory.

    According to the world ranking math, Rahm is 1.35 average ranking points behind Johnson and can overtake DJ atop the pack with a victory this week at the Farmers Insurance Open; but to hear his take on his ascension one would imagine a much wider margin.

    “I've said many times, beating Dustin Johnson is a really, really hard task,” Rahm said. “We all know what happened last time he was close to a lead in a tournament on the PGA Tour.”

    Farmers Insurance Open: Articles, photos and videos

    Rahm certainly remembers. It was just three weeks ago in Maui when he birdied three of his first six holes, played the weekend at Kapalua in 11 under and still finished eight strokes behind Johnson.

    And last year at the WGC-Mexico Championship when Rahm closed his week with rounds of 67-68 only to finish two strokes off Johnson’s winning pace, or a few weeks later at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play when he took Johnson the distance in the championship match only to drop a 1-up decision to the game’s undisputed heavyweight.

    As far as Rahm has come in an incredibly short time - at this point last year he ranked 137th in the world - it is interesting that it’s been Johnson who has had an answer at every turn.

    He knows there’s still so much room for improvement, both physically and mentally, and no one would ever say Rahm is wanting for confidence, but after so many high-profile run-ins with Johnson, his cautious optimism is perfectly understandable.

    “I'll try to focus more on what's going on this week rather than what comes with it if I win,” he reasoned when asked about the prospect of unseating Johnson, who isn’t playing this week. “I'll try my best, that's for sure. Hopefully it happens, but we all know how hard it is to win on Tour.”

    If Rahm’s take seems a tad cliché given the circumstances, consider that his aversion to looking beyond the blinders is baked into the competitive cake. For all of his physical advantages, of which there are many, it’s his keen ability to produce something special on command that may be even more impressive.

    Last year at Torrey Pines was a quintessential example of this, when he began the final round three strokes off the lead only to close his day with a back-nine 30 that included a pair of eagles.

    “I have the confidence that I can win here, whereas last year I knew I could but I still had to do it,” he said. “I hope I don't have to shoot 30 on the back nine to win again.”

    Some will point to Rahm’s 60-footer for eagle at the 72nd hole last year as a turning point in his young career, it was even named the best putt on Tour by one publication despite the fact he won by three strokes. But Rahm will tell you that walk-off wasn’t even the best shot he hit during the final round.

    Instead, he explained that the best shot of the week, the best shot of the year, came on the 13th hole when he launched a 4-iron from a bunker to 18 feet for eagle, a putt that he also made.

    “If I don't put that ball on the green, which is actually a lot harder than making that putt, the back nine charge would have never happened and this year might have never happened, so that shot is the one that made everything possible,” he explained.

    Rahm’s ability to embrace and execute during those moments is what makes him special and why he’s suddenly found himself as the most likely contender to Johnson’s throne even if he chooses not to spend much time thinking about it.