Doyle Leads Funk by One in Hawaii

By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2008, 5:00 pm
MasterCard ChampionshipKAUPULEHU-KONA, Hawai -- Allen Doyle dropped about 20 pounds in the offseason. It helped him drop putt after putt Saturday.
Doyle birdied the final two holes for a 6-under 66 and a one-stroke lead over Fred Funk after the second round of the MasterCard Championship.
'When you can finish birdieing 17 and 18, you know you've done something, so I'm very pleased,' the 59-year-old Doyle said.
He holed a bending 26-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to finish at 15-under 129 in the winners-only tournament, the first of 29 Champions Tour events of the year.
This time, his feet weren't aching like they did in 2007, which was his worst full-season since joining the 50-and-over circuit.
'At the end of last year, I was in tough shape,' he said. 'My weight was way up and my feet were killing me. I kind of had a bad last third of the year. I kind of vowed to shed some weight and get in better shape.'
He lost weight by playing golf, lifting a little weights and eating right. The effort is already paying dividends.
'I'm tickled to be where I'm at,' said Doyle, seeking his 12th Champions Tour victory and his first since the 2006 U.S. Senior Open. His best finishes last year were a second in the ACE Group Classic and a ninth-place tie at Hualalai.
Funk, coming off a 10th-place tie last week in the PGA Tour's Sony Open, had a 63 to put himself in contention for a second victory in Hawaii in as many years. It was his best round on the Champions Tour.
First-round leader Tom Purtzer (69) and Jim Thorpe (68) were third at 13 under.
Jay Haas, seeking an unprecedented third straight money title and player of the year award, was alone at 12 under after a 67. Loren Roberts (65), Dennis Watson (66) and D.A. Weibring (69) followed at 11 under.
After the players attacked the defenseless Jack Nicklaus-designed resort course with a 67.53 average in the first round, the wind picked up in the second, with the players averaging 2 1/2 strokes higher.
Doyle wasn't the longest hitter, but had a solid and consistent short game and turned in a bogey-free back nine. He tied Funk for the lead at 14 under by sinking a 6-footer for birdie on the par-3 17th.
Doyle had eight birdies and two bogeys in his round, which was his 19th straight below par at Hualalai dating back to the second round of 2002. His best MasterCard finish is a fifth-place tie in 2002. He also finished seventh three times.
The bogeys came when he three-putted on No. 4 and sailed his drive way right onto the cart path and into the ink-black lava fields on the par-5 seventh, one of the easiest holes at Hualalai.
'You give up two shots when you make 6 there,' he said.
Funk surged up the leaderboard with a torrid start, birdieing five of his first six holes and hit a 3-iron to 12 feet for eagle on the 551-yard seventh to reach 12 under.
'It was a great round and obviously a ridiculously good start -- a dream start,' he said. 'Seven under through seven holes. That's as good as it gets.'
He three-putted for his lone bogey on No. 9 and quickly got back on track with birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 with thoughts of shooting a 59.
The 51-year-old Funk seemed to be in midseason form as he continues what he refers to his 'Hawaiian slam.' He opened the season on the PGA Tour, tying for 25th in the Mercedes-Benz Championship and 10th in the Sony Open.
He won on each tour last year, winning the Turtle Bay Championship by a record 11 strokes and the regular tour's Mayakoba Golf Classic. This season, he has a goal of earning $2 million on each tour.
'It would be very difficult to do but it's also feasible,' he said.
Defending champion Hale Irwin was tied for 36th of the elite 41-player after shooting a 70 for a two-day total of 2-under 142.
The 62-year-old star, who has nine official victories in Hawaii, had a string of 12 rounds in the 60s at Hualalai before this week.
Last year, Irwin beat Thorpe and Tom Kite by five strokes for his tour-record 45th victory. Irwin closed with a 65 for a 23-under 193 total.
The winner Sunday will take home $300,000 of the $1.8 million purse.
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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.