Curtis leading in Texas after second straight 67

By Associated PressApril 21, 2012, 1:59 am

SAN ANTONIO – Ben Curtis can't pick his schedule like the old days. The former British Open champion, whose status has sunk near the lowest on the PGA Tour, now waits for the phone to ring to find out whether tournaments can squeeze him in.

But heading into the weekend, at least, he's back in control.

Wrapping up his second round at the Texas Open just before a two-hour storm delay left behind a stiff wind that protected the early leaders, Curtis shot another bogey-free 5-under 67 on Friday to finish at 10 under. He was two strokes ahead of David Mathis and three in front of Cameron Tringale and Matt Every.

Mathis matched Curtis with a 67, Tringale had a 65, and Every was poised to inch even closer before darkness suspended play. He'll line up for an 11-foot birdie chance on the par-4 17th when second-round play resumes Saturday.

Blake Adams (69), Ryan Palmer (69) and Hunter Haas (74) were tied for fifth at 4 under.

''We'll see how it goes over the weekend,'' Curtis said. ''When you're not playing the schedule that you want, you don't have it all laid out in front of you before the year starts, you're kind of playing when you can. It's hard.''

In his first time playing TPC San Antonio, Curtis has looked right at home after starting the year in Dubai and hopping around on the European Tour. The Texas Open is just his fourth PGA Tour stop because of his low conditional status following a miserable 2011, when he didn't muster a top-10 finish for the first time since joining the Tour in 2003.

That's the year Curtis came out of nowhere to win at the British Open. He racked up two more Tour victories in 2006 but hasn't won since, and his 149th ranking on the money list last year was a career worst. The slump, Curtis said, has left him not only trying to repair his game but also his mindset.

No longer able to pick and choose where he plays, Curtis described simply being ''ready to go'' if his phone rings the week before a tournament. He said he tries to focus on the 12 to 15 starts he expects to make this year rather than dwell on his place near the bottom rung of the Tour.

The 36-hole lead is his first since the Arnold Palmer Invitational in 2010.

''Everybody knows me, know that I don't stress about much,'' Curtis said. ''If you see me stressing it's probably over nothing, too. I usually sweat the small stuff, and the big stuff, I don't really worry about.''

Tringale and Scott Piercy, who started the day 4 over, vaulted back into contention with their 65s. Tringale began a bogey-free round with birdies on five of his first six holes, using his irons on the fairway to set up four putts from 4 feet or closer.

''There was no wind this morning and it was a little softer,'' said Tringale, who finished eighth at the Houston Open earlier this month. ''So you could be a little more aggressive to the pins.''

The afternoon group wasn't so lucky. A still morning gave way to 20-mph gusts delivered by a passing storm cell, freezing the leaderboard and raising the projected cut line to 4 over. Troy Matteson tumbled hardest, slipping from fourth to potentially out after an 81 summed up by a quadruple bogey on the par-5 14th.

A dozen players shot in the 60s before play was suspended. After play resumed, no one cracked 70.

Twenty-five players will finish the second round Saturday. Among those near the top is Frank Lickliter II, who was 3 under and tied for eighth with one hole left to play.

Matt Kuchar, the tournament's top-ranked player at No. 15, faded to 2 over after bogeying four on the back end. Diego Velasquez had a hole-in-one on the par-3 13th and finished at 4 over.

Getty Images

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.

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.