Couples Doesnt Expect Repeat at Houston

By Associated PressApril 21, 2004, 4:00 pm
HUMBLE, Texas -- Fred Couples is confident he can still compete on the PGA Tour and win again - as he did a year ago when he ended a five-year victory drought in the Houston Open.
But even the 44-year-old Couples, a 15-time tour winner, acknowledges he's not likely to successfully defend his title this week at the Redstone Golf Club.
'Last year was really a much better year,' he said Wednesday, a day before the start of the four-day tournament. 'Practicing paid off. I've been working, but I haven't really excelled.
'I can't foresee right now being here Sunday night,' he told reporters in the media tent where tournament officials will bring the winner.
The history of the Houston tournament backs him up.

The Houston event, first played in 1946 and the 10th oldest on the PGA Tour, never has had a back-to-back winner. It's the oldest tour stop with that notoriety.
'It's just been one of those quirks in our event,' said Steve Timms, executive director of the Houston Golf Association and the tournament director. 'This would be a good year to break that trend.'
Don't count on it.
Couples threw out his back not too long after his Houston victory and didn't have another top-10 finish until October.
So far this year, he's been in the money seven of the nine events he's entered, but has only one top 10, a tie for sixth in the Masters two weeks ago. He hasn't played since and hasn't practiced much. He's 51st on the money list and tied for 79th in scoring average.
'I would think I'm a little bit behind,' Couples said. 'I'm way off my golf game. But that could change.
'It was weird not to win for that long,' he said of the five-year victory drought. 'Once I did that, now my goal is to do it again. When is that? I don't know, but I'm sure it can happen again.'
At the same time, Couples admitted that after 24 years on the tour, 'I get kind of bored with the way I play.'
'Not bored with golf, just bored with hitting the ball over there when I want to go over there,' he said, nodding in opposite directions. 'You just get tired of that.'
He said practice and continuous play are essential, and it's what he did in the weeks leading up to the Masters. The physical toll was apparent, he said.
'I don't have the physical body like when I was 30 years old,' he said. 'I just played four out of five weeks leading up to Augusta. It was like a year.'
Vijay Singh, K.J. Choi, Jay Haas, Robert Allenby, Chris Riley and Leonard, all ranked in the top 30 in the world, also are in the field. Singh, Haas and Allenby are former Houston winners.
Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Getty Images

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

Getty Images

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.”

Getty Images

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.

Getty Images

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.