Euro Rookies Turn Ryder Cup Tide

By Associated PressSeptember 18, 2004, 4:00 pm
04 Ryder CupBLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. -- Paul Casey and David Howell sure didn't look like Ryder Cup rookies on Saturday -- judging by the shots they produced under pressure, and by the crucial point they won.
The Englishmen were poised and resilient in their first Ryder Cup appearances, delivering a momentum-saving win over Jim Furyk and Chad Campbell in a pivotal better-ball match.
'I think we all owe David Howell and Paul Casey a beer,' teammate Lee Westwood said.
Casey and Howell were down a hole with two to play, but Howell birdied No. 17 and Casey made a par-saving putt on 18 to snatch the 1-up win.
The victory helped stave off an American comeback bid and fueled a dominating performance by the Europeans in alternate-shot play on Saturday afternoon. Europe took three of the four matches, taking an 11-5 lead heading into Sunday's singles matches.
'For Paul and David to come through, that was just huge for us,' teammate Darren Clarke said.
They also made captain Bernhard Langer's big gamble look like a no-brainer.
'Their win was vital because we all know that momentum swings are common in this game,' Langer said. 'Paul and David just played some of the best golf you will ever see from two partners making their debuts together in the Ryder Cup.'
It was the first time that rookies paired for their first matches were victorious since Americans Lee Elder and Andy Bean beat Peter Oosterhuis and Nick Faldo in 1979 at Greenbriar.
Down 6 1/2-1 1/2 at the start of the day, the Americans raced out of the gates with strong performances by Jay Haas and Chris DiMarco, and Tiger Woods and Chris Riley.
And with Europe's big guns -- Colin Montgomerie and Padraig Harrington -- struggling mightily in a loss to Stewart Cink and Davis Love III, Europe was left to rely on two relatively unknown Brits to stem the tide.
Against Langer's wishes, Casey did a bit of scoreboard watching, and could see his team's lead slipping away.
'Unfortunately we knew what was going on,' Casey said. 'But we knew if we ground it out, we would have a chance.'
The two rookies never lost their cool in the pressure-packed match, even as the American crowd started to roar.
'We were the light at the end of the tunnel,' Howell said. 'We were 2-up and then all of a sudden our match turns to 1-down, and you could hear the crowd get more and more into it. And to come back from that ... I think we're both delighted.'
Howell and Casey did not participate in Europe's rout of the United States on Friday and got off to a shaky start on their first Ryder Cup hole.
Howell missed a 5-foot birdie putt that would have been good for a 1-up lead, but the two rookies held firm, even after losing a two-hole lead shortly after the turn.
'David and I were pretty calm,' Casey said. 'And I think the most nervous David was the whole day was the 5-footer on the first. But we are very, very happy to get our first Ryder Cup points.'
The win gave Europe an 8-4 lead heading into the alternate-shot matches on Saturday afternoon.
'I think it's only justice, really,' Casey said. 'We really played our hearts out and we put up with a lot of noise out there. We hung in there and I think we deserved it.'
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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.