Frazar tops Karlsson at FedEx St. Jude Classic

By Associated PressJune 12, 2011, 10:58 pm

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Harrison Frazar knows he’s supposed to act as if he’s won before. Turns out it’s really tough the first time around, especially for someone who thought he’d missed his chance.

Frazar won his first PGA Tour title in his 355th tournament, beating Robert Karlsson with a par on the third hole of a sudden-death playoff Sunday at the St. Jude Classic. He won a month before turning 40 when Karlsson pushed a par-saving putt 3 feet past the hole.

“It was a whirlwind there. This was the first time,” Frazar said. “I don’t know if I’m supposed to keep the seersucker jacket. I don’t know if I’m supposed to carry the trophy. You don’t know who you’re supposed to talk to. I felt bad. I didn’t thank the sponsors. I didn’t thank FedEx. I didn’t thank the volunteers. I was not quite sure really what was happening right then.

“The only tournament that I won in Q-school, you walked in, signed your card in the scoring trailer, and they gave you a pat on the back, ‘Good job.’ You walked out the door. There was nobody there.”

And Frazar had been so ready to quit golf he had plans lined up for a new job at the end of the year.

He turns 40 on July 29, misses his family back in Texas, and is playing this year on a major medical exemption after separate surgeries on his hip and shoulder last summer. Memphis is just the fourth cut he’s made in 10 events, though he just qualified for the upcoming U.S. Open at Congressional.

Now Frazar has the biggest paycheck of his career, taking home $1,008,000. He knows he’ll be playing at least a couple more years now that he has a slot in the Tournament of Champions in Maui in January and in Augusta next April for his first Masters.

“It just shows you how sometimes when you let your guard down or let your expectations soften, you can free yourself up,” Frazar said.

Frazar hadn’t had a chance to share the news with his wife and three children when he talked with reporters. He said his wife likely was stuck in the Dallas airport, flying to meet him at Congressional.

“I’m assuming her phone is either blown up, or she’s trying to get through the airport with three screaming kids,” Frazar said.

Frazar missed a chance to win on the 72nd hole when he made his first bogey of the day. He shot a 3-under 67 to match Karlsson (68) at 13 under. He became the seventh first-time winner on Tour this year and the first to win his first title in Memphis since Dicky Pride in 1994.

“I just wanted to make it interesting,” Frazar joked. “I felt bad for Robert.”

Karlsson led after the second and third rounds, and he has shot below par on his past eight rounds here. Now the Swede has lost in a playoff at the TPC Southwind course for a second straight year, though he said he couldn’t have done much more in what he called a great match.

“He played great, and I played good as well,” Karlsson said. “It’s one of those days where I think most of us had a lot of fun out there. Congratulate him on a great win. He played great in the last round after sort of being injured and stuff like that. He played really well.”

Camilo Villegas (64) tied for third with Tim Herron, Ryuji Imada, Charles Howell and Retief Goosen. Lee Westwood, the 2010 champion here, tied for 11th.

“It’s pretty cool,” Frazar said.

This final round turned into a two-man playoff almost from the opening hole with no one closer than three strokes early, a margin that expanded to six.

Frazar kept catching Karlsson atop the leaderboard, finally getting the lead to himself when Karlsson bogeyed No. 17 after yanking a 3-wood way left off the tee. Frazar promptly gave the stroke back on the 72nd hole when his second shot landed near the green and dribbled into the water.

Karlsson stroked in an 8-foot par putt to set up his second straight playoff in Memphis.

In the playoff, Frazar had a 17-footer for birdie and the win on the first hole at No. 18 where he had just bogeyed. But he pushed his putt a foot past. Karlsson had an 18-foot birdie putt for the win on the par-3 11th only to just miss right, while Frazar two-putted from 45 feet.

Frazar had a nice drive on the third hole, the par-4 12th, that left him 93 yards to the pin. He hit his approach to 22 feet and two-putted.

Karlsson had to chip onto the green, and the ball sped past 11 feet past the hole. Needing to hole out to extend the playoff, Karlsson missed his par putt left.

Frazar tied Karlsson at 12 under through three, at 13 under through eight and at 14 under when he stuck his tee shot on the par-3 No. 11 6 feet from the pin for his fourth birdie of the round. With nobody else closer than six strokes, the men matched par for par over the next five holes.

Frazar had birdie putts of 4 feet and 15 feet to take the lead on Nos. 16 and 17 but couldn’t knock them in.

Still sharing the lead, Karlsson yanked his tee shot on the par-4 No. 17 way into the rough. His 8-iron came up 42 yards short of the pin, leaving him a 6-footer for par. He started it left of the hole, and it never moved off the line rolling 4 feet past the pin.

Frazar gave it right back on 18, taking his drop and knocking his ball to 2 feet to salvage bogey after Karlsson’s par putt from 8 feet.

“Felt more like 12 for me,” Karlsson said. “Really, really big 8 feet. I know that’s a putt to get into the playoff. So you … pick your shot and try to hit it there. Scary thing was I had quite a big spike mark right in the way, but you can’t clip it. That’s the way it is. You take your spot and try to hit it as good as you can, and it went in. It was great.”

DIVOTS: Nine consecutive PGA Tour events have been decided by a stroke or a playoff. … This marks the third time in St. Jude history that the winner has been decided in a playoff in back-to-back years. Don Whitt and Tommy Bolt won playoffs in 1959 and 1960, while Andy Bean and Gil Morgan needed extra holes to win in 1978 and 1979. … Frazar’s 71 in the opening round equals the high start by a winner on Tour this year and is just the second over-par opening round by a champion this year. Rory Sabbatini opened the Honda Classic with 1-over 71, and Bubba Watson started the Farmers Insurance Open with the same score. … Frazar is just the sixth player to make Memphis his first win in the 54-year history of the event.

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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.