Faldo Struggles but Still in the Hunt

By Associated PressJuly 27, 2007, 4:00 pm
2007 Senior British OpenGULLANE, Scotland -- Tom Watson missed a 5-foot putt at the last hole and tossed away a share of the lead at the Senior British Open on Friday, while overnight leader Nick Faldo lost his putting touch and slipped to sixth.
 
Watson finished with a par 71 and handed the lead to Des Smyth, who shot 70 and held the clubhouse lead with a 2-under 140 total for more than six hours at windswept Muirfield. No player broke 70 on Friday.
 
'I left my putt short, about five feet and then I missed it,' said Watson, who has won this event twice. 'Not a good way to end.'
 
A five-time British Open winner -- including on the same Muirfield links in 1980 -- Watson was tied for second with Eduardo Romero (71), Gordon J. Brand (73) and Stewart Ginn (70) at 1 under. Faldo shot a 74, two strokes behind the leader after opening with a 68 Thursday in his senior tour debut.
 
'Although I shot 3 over, I felt as though I was making bogey everywhere,' said Faldo, winner of six majors, including three British Opens. 'I am still in it so, if I can find something and get the right attitude, then who knows what can happen.'
 
Watson, whose four birdies were spoiled by four bogeys on the back nine, also left a 30-foot eagle putt at 17 on the edge of the hole. But one of his shots from a fairway bunker at 14 struck a spectator on the head.
 
'I pull-hooked it out of the bunker way left of the green,' Watson said. 'Nobody saw it and, boom, it hits him on the head and comes all the way across the green and leaves me with actually a pretty easy chance for bogey, which I made.'
 
Watson beat Smyth in a playoff at the 2005 Senior British Open at Royal Aberdeen and that's the closest the Irishman has come to a major on the senior tour.
 
'Obviously, I would love to win,' he said. 'But, whatever happens, I need a good result because I am worried about keeping my card. I need a big result somewhere along the line and this could be the place to do it.'
 
A strong wind blowing across the Muirfield links led to some high scoring and whittled away at the scores of the first-round leaders.
 
Playing into the wind, however, Faldo sliced his second shot into the rough well short of the green. Although he was close to reaching par with a 20-foot putt, it rolled to the left of the cup and he made bogey to surrender his lead.
 
Renowned for making par after par under pressure, Faldo didn't make one in the first five holes. They were a mixture of three bogeys and two birdies, and at one stage he had fallen four behind Brand, who was co-leader overnight.
 
But Faldo pulled himself back into contention for a share of the lead only to leave a putt for eagle 3 feet short at the 17th and then missed again.
 
Nick Job, one of three players tied with Faldo for the first-round lead at 3 under, carded an 85 to miss the cut, which was 9 over.
 
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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.