Funk maintains advantage at US Sr Open

By Associated PressAugust 1, 2008, 4:00 pm
USGACOLORADO SPRINGS, Co. ' The Broadmoors East Course was quite a bear Friday.
 
Difficult pin placements and faster, drier greens flustered the field and only five golfers managed to shoot below par, including Fred Funk, whose 1-under 69 gave him the lead at the halfway point of the U.S. Senior Open.
 
Funks two-day score of 6-under 134 is two shots ahead of Eduardo Romero (69) and four ahead of Mark McNulty (70), Tom Kite (71) and John Cook (72).
 
Stealing the show, however, was a black bear that ambled out of the mountains in the morning and crossed the 13th fairway before checking out spectators outside the ropes.
 
Nobody was harmed, and neither was the bear.
 
(Jack) Nicklaus isnt here, so I guess thats a substitute, cracked Funk.
 
Although tournament officials were prepared to tranquilize the animal and stop play were it to become aggressive or spooked, after several minutes the bear crawled through a drainage pipe on the ninth hole that leads to the West Course, then went through another drainage pipe and into the wilderness, leaving unnerved galleries and golfers behind.
 
USGA spokesman Pete Kowalski said wildlife experts were called in and would be on the course throughout the rest of the tournament in case the bear or its chums decide to return for another look around.
 
The course, carved into the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, serves as host to all kinds of critters, including bobcats, coyotes, deer, mountain lions, red foxes, snakes and turkeys.
 
But a bear?
 
That was a new one even for these grizzled veterans, many of whom played with Nicklaus, the Golden Bear who menaced his share of golfers over the years.
 
Funk said he heard tournament officials talking about possibly having to halt play because it would be pretty scary if it got a little panicky and some spectator or some of the golfers were too close'that wouldnt have been an issue if a caddie had gotten too close.
 
Aside from the bear, a few deer and red-tailed foxes were spotted Friday.
 
You dont get that every week, Cook said.
 
There were also plenty of sightings of red-faced golfers, befuddled by the perilous pin placements, particularly on the par-3 eighth hole, where tap after tap rolled right off the hard, sloping green.
 
Every hole was on a slant, Cook said.
 
The USGA put some pin placements on us today that almost defy the imagination, Kite said. Its just treacherous, treacherous greens out there with some unbelievable pin placements.
 
Greg Norman, whose 73 put him nine shots off the lead and in a tie for 18th, said simply: Im not going to comment about the golf course. The USGA should know better.
 
The 7,254-yard course, the longest for a U.S. Senior Open, sits more than 6,400 feet above sea level, so the golfers not only must adapt to the tricky greens but also have to adjust for altitude on their irons and tee shots.
 
One day after he needed 3 1/2 hours of stretching to loosen up, the 52-year-old Funk, who is coming off knee surgery, said he awoke Friday pain-free for the first time in two years.
 
Then I hit my first tee shot on 10 and walking off the tee, my neck locked up, said Funk, who started on the back nine.
 
Before he knew it, he was 3-over after eight holes. Getting massage treatments between shots from a physical therapist and popping anti-inflammatory medication, Funk began to get better after making the turn, and so did his game as he sank three birdies on the way in.
 
Divots
 
Ian Woosnam shot the best round of the day at 68. Kiyoshi Murota followed his 80 with a 69 but still missed the cut.
 
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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.