Flesch Cruises to Title in New York

By Associated PressSeptember 23, 2007, 4:00 pm
Turning Stone Resort ChampionshipVERONA, New York -- Steve Flesch shot a 1-over 73 on Sunday and beat Michael Allen by two shots to win the inaugural Turning Stone Resort Championship, the left-hander's second PGA TOUR victory in two months.
 
Flesch had an 18-under 270 total and won $1.08 million to boost his earnings for 2007 to $2.2 million, vaulting him from 70th on the money list into the top 30. He also earned a spot in the U.S. Open next year as a multiple winner since the last Open.
 
For Flesch, who began the day with a four-shot lead over Carl Pettersson and Charles Warren, it was his fourth career victory on the PGA TOUR and marked the third straight time he's won after holding the 54-hole lead. The third-round leader has won two of the last eight events on the PGA TOUR, dating to Flesch's victory at the Reno-Tahoe Open in August.
 
It was a banner day, nonetheless, for the 48-year-old Allen (68), who last year made his 13th trip to the Q-school finals and earned his PGA TOUR card for a record ninth time. Although Allen failed to get his first victory, he earned $648,000 to boost his earnings to a career-high $960,297, inside the top 100 on the money list.
 
John Senden (67) and rookie John Mallinger (68) tied for third at 15 under, one shot ahead of Pettersson (73), Tommy Armour III (68), Mathew Goggin (69), Charley Hoffman (69) and rookie Parker McLachlin (71).
 
Warren (74) and Bill Haas (71), who began the tournament ranked 126th on the money list, finished in a tie for 10th at 13 under.
 
It wasn't difficult to figure out how Flesch won. Over the first three rounds, he reached 51 of 54 greens in regulation, hit 32 of 42 fairways, made 14 putts of more than 10 feet, and was 11 under on the more difficult back nine, including a course-record 30 on Friday that included four birdies and an eagle. That put him at 19 under and tied the PGA TOUR's lowest 54-hole score in relation to par this year.
 
The largest come-from-behind win on tour this year was by Padraig Harrington, who came from six shots back on the final day to win the British Open. There were only three players within six shots of Flesch at the start of play Sunday -- Pettersson and Warren were the closest at four shots back -- but Flesch made it interesting for a while with three bad shots on the first two holes.
 
Flesch began the round by driving into a fairway bunker on the opening hole, a 404-yard par-4. He hit cleanly out but 40 yards short of the pin, and despite a perfect lie mishit his third shot. It skidded left into a greenside bunker, he hit out to 40 feet and two-putted for bogey.
 
There was more trouble at No. 2, another par-4. After a perfect drive down the middle of the fairway, Flesch's second shot sailed past the green into the rough 43 feet from the hole. And when he slid his chip 15 past the pin, he was unable to salvage par and dropped back to 17 under.
 
Flesch finally regained his stroke at the 203-yard par-3 third hole, hitting his drive to 4 feet and making birdie while Pettersson settled for his third straight par.
 
Pettersson found trouble at No. 4. Both he and Flesch drove into a fairway bunker along the right side, their balls stopping in the sand 6 inches from one another. Flesch hit out first and lofted his second shot to 9 feet and made birdie. Pettersson hooked his second shot left, it rolled down a hill to the right of the green, some 62 feet from the pin, and he two-putted for bogey from inside 15 feet.
 
Any chance Pettersson might still have had disappeared along with his ball at the par-5 fifth hole, statistically the easiest hole on the course. After a nice drive at the 552-yard dogleg left, Pettersson hooked a fairway wood low and left toward a giant water hazard. The ball landed in 3-foot-high weeds on a near-vertical slope, forcing Pettersson to take a penalty, and he made bogey again.
 
Warren, who finished a career-best second to Flesch at Reno, fell back quickly with two bogeys on the first three holes.
 
The first two rounds at the 7,482-yard Atunyote Golf Club course were played under ideal conditions, with temperatures in the 80s and hardly a breeze, and several players went low each day. And even though the wind picked up Saturday, gusting as high as 25 mph, Flesch and many of the leaders had 6-under 66s.
 
On Sunday, with the wind a steady 12-15 mph and gusting to over 20 mph, Flesch coasted to victory without a challenge, even though he made seven straight pars and bogeyed two of his last three holes.
 
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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.